difference between HIPAA Compliance vs. Certification

What is the difference between HIPAA Compliance vs Certification?

It can often confuse HIPAA compliance and match up with HIPAA requirements. Several questions might crop up during the process, including the need to understand what HIPAA compliance truly means. Forthwith, getting a certification guarantees adherence to HIPAA requirements. Especially, you should know the difference between HIPAA Compliance and Certification.

Understanding what the two terms truly mean

To answer most questions, one needs to understand the fundamental difference between the two terminologies. Here is the difference between HIPAA Compliance vs Certification:

HIPAA Compliance refers to the essential adherence to the rules and requirements. It’s constituted by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) policies and guidelines. 

HIPAA Certification is the entire process involved in obtaining or being awarded a document or designation for attesting that a person has completed an educational course. 

You need to understand that it makes no sense to use these terms interchangeably as they are entirely different things. Each of them serves other purposes specific to the qualification that one is attaining. For instance, certifications can achieve by employees and businesses, that is to say, they can be certified, but individual employees cannot have the labeling of being compliant.

The difference is fundamentally a simple distinction that loosely translates into saying that a person or a company obtains a certification. In contrast, the label of “compliance” needs to be continually maintained by an organization.

How are they Different?

The difference between HIPAA Compliance vs Certification is that HIPAA certification can be obtained by sitting and qualifying for an exam that validates the relevant knowledge and skills in the core areas of HIPAA regulations and guidelines. It needs to know that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is a government entity. And that manages and is responsible for maintaining and enforcing the HIPAA rule. It should also know that it does not endorse or frequently recognize HIPAA certification. In a way to declare or discharge organizations from maintaining and meeting the legal obligations of the HIPAA rules of security. 

However, many businesses and websites may be able to offer HIPAA certification. The caveat is that the certification they provide has been designed by private companies. That does include training and testing but is not usually officially sponsored or accepted or approved by the federal government. Once, they pass out the certification tests with satisfactory grades, these companies grant the certification.

The compliance part is usually one which cannot be approve not achieve by any means of taking or passing an examination. HIPPA-compliant companies are generally known as cover entities. They are required to periodically perform specific evaluations, including technical and non-technical tests. To establish and secure their policies and procedures that are compulsory to get the HIPAA requirement.

What does one need to know about them?

One needs to know that in the world of data protection, to maintain compliance, a company needs to go through a continual process. It’s evaluating and meeting the requirements and performing specific tests to keep the label compliant. This requires constant monitoring and vigilance to safeguard the company. And the organization from misusers or fraudsters interested in gaining unlawful access to protected health information. 

Compliance is one tag that can be gained one day and lost the next day as the compliance procedures, and requirements keep getting updated every day. The protocols are always edited to keep every user’s data and health information safe.

HIPAA and all about how to keep it

It is clear that no one particular company is interested in or has the right to certify an organization as a HIPAA-compliant organization. When it comes to cloud solutions, evaluation for the same can be verified by independent and third-party auditors and even cloud experts who know the exact parameters to judge an organization’s “compliant” status. These cloud-based servers or solutions are often referred to as HIPAA vaults. The verification process is a very long and extensive one that includes several examinations of controls in various data centers and cloud-based infrastructure and videos of other operational functions.

For every other user, such as developers, web designers, and any other cover entity who are directly associated with the solution. Or who will handle electronically protected health information, also known as ePHI. There are specific configurations that need to make for applications and websites to be secure for HIPAA compliance. To do this, a complete assessment of the risk of the organization involves needs to be completed as a part of The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) ‘s administrative policies. Which entails identifying the electronically protected health information that the organization may receive, manipulate or transmit to meet processes. 

This sort of risk assessment is also performed by vendors or consultants who directly or indirectly may handle the electronically protected health information. With a keen eye to find out any human, natural or environmental threats to any information system that contains ePHI. In a long run, other physical and technical safeguards should also be taken care of when protecting workstations, equipment, etc. Thus it is also valid to protect access to several user networks and environments to maintain higher security and privacy of data.


To conclude, The differences distinguish HIPAA certifications from compliance. Compliance is more about adhering to the set of rules and regulations set and maintained by the DHHS. To safeguard and secure any process involved with the handling and transmitting of medical information. It is highly crucial to adhere to these regulations. You would want an experienced provider who can secure your data and keep your patients protected. 

This way, you can focus on what you do and need to budge much about the security side of things. 

HIPAA certification is an assurance that proves that an organization understands the process. It consists of obtaining credentials that act towards validating the adherence to these rules and regulations. HIPAA vault is something that can truly help out with the journey. It has several crucial training and resource elements that you might need to get your organization to become compliant.

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