Aon Offers HIPAA Help

April 7, 2003 ( - One week from today, all companies that have total health-care spending greater than $5 million must be in full compliance with new privacy requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) - and Aon Consulting estimates that as many as 50% of all companies have been putting off the inevitable.

Aon Consulting has put together a program to help clients get ready for the new regulations, including an online assessment tool that companies can use to easily gauge their level of exposure to these new requirements.   Aon says that the online questionnaire can help plan sponsors gauge their exposure to the new requirements.

Preparation Program

As for complying with HIPAA Privacy Requirements, Aon notes that the key elements of its HIPAA preparation program includes helping plan sponsors:

  • Avoid penalties of up to $250,000 each year per violation.
  • Ensure that human resources staff knows about “protected health information.”
  • Understand the role of the “privacy official” and why every health plan is now required to appoint one.
  • Clarify the administrative, technical, and physical safeguards that should be applied to existing HR methods, procedures, and policies.

Aon offers a HIPAA Privacy Rule Compliance Kit that contains two modules designed to provide basic information and guidelines for implementing the HIPAA Privacy Rule with sections that can be customized to specific policies, procedures, and internal administration of a plan sponsor.

Module Contents

The first module provides the foundation for building a customized 2-4 hour training program for HR staff, including a review of Privacy Rule requirements as well as identifying what is required of HR staff.   The module also includes a resource manual, a Q&A to help session moderators prepare for and conduct the training sessions, and a Privacy Rule quiz and a certificate of training for each participant who completes the training materials.

The second module offers two customizable reference guides for internal communication, including what Aon calls the “HR Guide for Managing PHI,” a reference resource for corporate and field HR staff that summarizes requirements and highlights key procedures.   The guide is designed as a “refresher” tool to compliment the initial training sessions.   Also included is “A Manager’s Quick Reference Guide to PHI,” a one-page sheet that summarizes PHI and the roles of managers and supervisors, employee rights, and compliance administration procedures.

Aon notes that by April 2004, all companies that sponsor health plans for employees will be held accountable for complying with HIPAA, no matter the size.

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