Does Your HITRUST CSF Assessment Warrant Hiring a CPA Firm to Take on the Task?
As you look toward your organization’s next HITRUST CSF assessment, you may wonder if it is worth it to seek outside assistance from a trusted CPA firm. Whether your company is new, thus new to healthcare regulatory assessment procedures, or you simply want an expert outlook during this assessment and certification process, the benefits can prove enormous for you, your IT team and your organization.
Why Is HITRUST Important in Information Security for Organizations That Handle Medical Data?
The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) is an organization made up of a Board of Directors and members that feature leaders from the business, information security, technology and healthcare industries. This group formed the organization in the belief that information security efforts are critical to the healthcare industry’s commitment to collect, store and share electronic medical records to streamline information processes for healthcare organizations to provide better care for patients.
This informative and massive healthcare data sharing practice does come with substantial risks. MedCityNews cites a recent study from the Brookings Institution that reveals that 23 percent of data breaches occur in the healthcare industry and continue to increase, “despite growing public awareness, increased security assurances and rising government fines.” Further, these data breaches have affected more than 155 million Americans in 1,500 cases over the past six years.
Such large-scale danger to your patients and other third party stakeholders make it imperative that you meet all guidelines, regulations, rules and laws to protect the stream of sensitive data that flows through your organization’s system.
And Introducing the HITRUST CSF…
The HITRUST CSF was developed by HITRUST, which is made up of leaders in business, healthcare, technology, and information security industries to create a framework that leaves no stone unturned when it comes to information security compliance. The HITRUST CSF is a comprehensive and certifiable security framework, which means that your adherence to all of the rigors involved will pay off. The certification that you earn through maintaining compliance with the most up-to-date HIPAA and NIST regulations, for example, is held in high esteem throughout the healthcare industry, as well as among third party stakeholders and patients.
The fact that the HITRUST CSF is the most widely adopted security framework in the industry holds plenty of weight, but it comes with the expenditure of a great deal of energy, time, resources, and oversight, making it a prime candidate for outside expertise.
The HITRUST CSF Controls and the Three Levels of Implementation
Featuring 19 comprehensive controls that offer in-depth insight into your system’s data protection status, as well as three graduating levels of implementation, the HITRUST CSF offers a clear portrait of your current compliance.
It is essential that your executive team is ready to provide you with the budget and human resources you need to peer deeply into your information security and determine its compliance.
The Complexities of the HITRUST CSF Are Manageable but Challenging
A day in the life of any CIO, IT manager, or resident IT leader, regardless of title, is often packed with a full roster of duties. Even delegating what you can to your invaluable and dedicated IT team, some duties can become overwhelming. A HITRUST assessment is complex, especially when adhering to the many controls of the HITRUST CSF, so there are several valid reasons that you, your team, and your organization may not want to take on this arduous process on your own, which may include the following:
- Your organization is still relatively small and has limited resources to allocate to a HITRUST CSF assessment. When you weigh the potential costs of hiring an outside CPA professional with trying to take on a large project, with limited experience, you may find the tables tip toward hiring an outside consultant for your first HITRUST CSF assessment.
- You and your IT team simply have a full load of work responsibilities each day, as well as working with a staff that has no experience with HITRUST CSF assessments. While learning the process is important to you, if you cannot afford spending a considerable amount of time pouring over the HITRUST CSF controls and the levels of implementation, your organization’s resources are better spent on an outside CPA firm. Consider drawing up an agreement with your chosen CPA firm where you can pitch in and work with them to become acquainted with the experience so you can eventually lead your team on your own.
- Your organization has recently undergone data breaches, and you and your company leaders want to ensure optimal information security coverage and HITRUST CSF certification. A CPA can help you ensure you have covered every possible regulation to give you confidence as you, your IT team and your executive board recover from a costly data breach or accidental omission.
The benefits that you and your organization enjoy include peace of mind that you are in full compliance and that your third party stakeholders will continue to hold your organization in high esteem.
Reach Out to a CPA Firm to Avoid HITRUST CSF Assessment Pitfalls
CPA professionals at I.S. Partners, LLC. look forward to taking on your HITRUST CSF assessment. We welcome any input you have to help us ensure your compliance and HITRUST CSF certification.