County signs agreement with ISAC to ensure HIPAA compliancy

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Henry County Supervisors approved an Iowa State Association of Counties HIPAA Program Service Agreement during a meeting on Thursday, July 26, to do their due diligence in staying HIPPA-compliant.

Sarah Berndt, Coordinator of Disability Services, said she believes the annual cost of $1,750 is money well spent as she presented the agreement to supervisors.

?If there was a breach or an issue, it would mitigate the level of discipline,? Berndt said. Through the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC), the county has access to educational resources, including a 60-minute training webinar, entry to an annual conference, access to a HIPPA attorney for ISAC for five hours of consultation a year and additional training hours should the consultation be unnecessary.

?We?re doing as much as we can to make sure we demonstrate we?re tapping into resources to keep us HIPAA compliant,? Berndt said.

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which ensures the safeguarding of medical information.

Additionally, Berndt requested the county invest in a few defibrillators for her office and Public Health following an incident Thursday, July 19.

?Last Thursday, there was an individual in our building who would have used a defibrillator had one been available,? Berndt said.

Supervisors gave Berndt the go-ahead to seek funds for the defibrillators and are looking into grant money that could possibly be used to help pay for them.

In other news, the county once again received the Iowa Department of Public Health County Prevention Grant, a $5,561 grant that helps to run the Alcohol and Drug Dependency Services. (ADDS).

The county contributes an additional $16,000 to ADDS from their supplemental funds.