For companies that want to sell into healthcare, HITRUST certification is becoming increasingly critical for success. With 81% of providers and 83% of payers adopting the framework, and many of them requiring their vendors to follow suit, it’s difficult to imagine a successful third-party vendor in the healthcare space that hasn’t met HITRUST benchmarks.
While many healthcare companies pursue certification when it’s required to close a deal or retain a customer, the benefits of being proactive about certification extend beyond customer retainment. Here are 4 reasons your healthcare organization needed HITRUST yesterday.
1. HITRUST helps your business grow
Many covered entities require HITRUST certification of their vendors. In fact, in 2016, five major healthcare payers issued a letter to all their business associates explaining the need for HITRUST within 2 years. In 2018 providers made a similar announcement. Without certification, healthcare vendors will find those large payer and provider accounts out of reach, which can hinder growth potential.
Aside from granting you access to a larger customer base and increased revenue, HITRUST will also shorten your sales and procurement cycles. It can help you get past even the most scrupulous of third-party audits with flying colors. When you’re HITRUST certified, potential customers no longer ask you to spend hours filling out security questionnaires, which will help your business get deals over the finish line faster while relieving pressure on your IT team.
2. HITRUST is your competitive advantage
There are two ways to look at HITRUST certification. If your competitors are HITRUST certified and your organization is not, they are automatically perceived as better than you – not the kind of differentiation you’re looking for. If these roles are reversed then you stand out from the crowd. In some situations, like hospital procurement for example, HITRUST is table stakes. Without it, your organization is not even in the running.
The problem with merely being "HIPAA compliant" is that anyone can claim to be HIPAA compliant since there is no HIPAA certification. In fact, studies have shown that 25% of healthcare fails to meet HIPAA benchmarks. Knowing this, would you completely trust a vendor that claimed to be HIPAA compliant? Since HITRUST is a third-party accreditation body, being HITRUST certified validates that your organization has passed rigorous security audits and confirms that you meet HIPAA security standards.
3. HITRUST simplifies compliance management
The HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) covers over 1800 controls across multiple regulatory bodies such as GDPR, ISO, and PCI-DSS. The HITRUST CSF provides mappings of HITRUST controls to requirements in other frameworks, allowing you to easily prove compliance with other regulations. This simplifies compliance management going forward by consolidating multiple regulations into one workflow that would otherwise be separate tasks.
If your customers have other regulatory needs outside of HITRUST, you can use the CSF to map your controls to controls that they care about and ensure coverage. In this way, HITRUST provides a common language for compliance across frameworks and industries, helping you keep your customers at ease.
Along with helping you simplify your compliance workflow, HITRUST also makes it easier to stay up to date with evolving HIPAA regulations. Since HITRUST requires a mini assessment every other year and a reassessment in between those, you’ll ensure that your business continues to meet the most up-to-date HIPAA requirements which can save you from expensive fines or liability issues.
4. HITRUST protects your business and customers
Accreditation bodies such as HITRUST exist because healthcare organizations can’t be too careful when handling PHI. The average medical record sells for ten times more than credit card information, making it crucial for organizations to maintain compliant systems. In fact, the healthcare sector accounted for 79% of breaches in 2020 – up from 45% in 2029 – followed by the financial and banking industry at only 12%.
Small businesses are especially vulnerable to the devastating effects of security breaches: 60% of small businesses that suffer successful cyberattacks are out of business within six months. Whether your customers are seeking HITRUST certification themselves or just want to work with a certified provider, you’ll need to take every possible step to ensure their data is as secure as possible.
The Road To HITRUST
While HITRUST certification offers a range of benefits, certification does not come without a price. To put it bluntly, HITRUST certification is hard. The process itself is complex and difficult for newcomers to navigate. There are substantial costs involved, from out-of pocket expenses ranging from process development of your information security program to hiring the right assessor firm, to say nothing of substantial time investment by people throughout the organization.
Armed with the right knowledge and tools organizations can accelerate the path to HITRUST, reducing costs, minimizing the resources required, and diminishing distractions. Watch the on-demand webinar with AWS, Achieve HITRUST Faster and Accomplish More – with AWS and Cloudticity to learn how to reduce the cost and timeline of your HITRUST process.