HIPAA Certification
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Do You Need a HIPAA Certification to Operate?

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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) applies to individuals or organizations that deal with protected health information and their business associates. And if you fall within this category, you are most likely aware that you must adhere to the regulations or you will be penalized.

But then, you must have heard about companies that become “HIPAA Certified,” and you are wondering, “How do I go about it?” or “Does my company need a HIPAA certification?”.

This article will discuss HIPAA certification and all the commonly asked questions.

What is HIPAA Compliance Certification?

HIPAA certifications could be awarded in two scenarios. First, if your company is audited by a third-party certification company and satisfies all the HIPAA requirements, they can give you a certification as evidence of your compliance.

However, this is not a requirement from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and does not absolve your company of its responsibilities according to HIPAA standards. Also, note that the certification is not endorsed or recognized by the HHS and cannot prevent them from penalizing an organization.

In addition, a company can be certified as proof of recognition that the staff have undergone the required HIPPA training and have the necessary knowledge to comply with the organization’s policies and procedures.

Why should my organization become HIPAA Certified?

As previously mentioned, the HIPAA certification is not required to be compliant. However, your company may want to consider getting one for several reasons.

Here are a few:

Brand Marketing: Having a HIPAA certification can be helpful for marketing purposes. For example, patients concerned with their privacy may feel assured if they see a seal of your HIPAA certification on your website.

Also, for business associates, covered entities might feel more comfortable partnering with you if you have previously received proof of being HIPAA compliant.

Employee Training: Your employees can acquire relevant information on HIPAA rules during the certification program. Usually, third-party certification companies are experienced and can provide the necessary knowledge to help your employees stay compliant. Then, they can prevent unintentional violations of HIPAA standards resulting in severe penalties.

Compliance Assessments: One of HIPPA’s requirements is that you must carry out a periodic evaluation of your company’s compliance. And this assessment should be documented for review by the auditors.

Hiring a third-party company to review your HIPAA compliance may be cost-effective, especially if your company lacks the internal infrastructure to conduct a thorough periodic assessment. Plus, if your compliance assessment has been conducted internally previously, you might want to outsource that activity to a third party to find loopholes you might have missed.

More minor penalties: Should there be any violation, notwithstanding the certification, a certificate might prove “a reasonable amount of care to abide by the HIPAA Rules” during the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) inquiry. And this might be a difference between the Tier 1 violation and the Tier 2 violation.


Although there are several good reasons for having a third-party HIPAA certification, it is really not necessary. It is a one-off process, unlike HIPPA compliance. So, receiving the certification will not guarantee that your company will always remain compliant.

Finally, deciding whether to become HIPAA certified is entirely up to your company. However, keep in mind that violating HIPAA rules could result in severe fines and criminal indictments for your organization.