If you’re in the healthcare industry and have a mobile app dealing with protected health information (PHI), you’ll almost certainly need to comply with HIPAA. The average cost of HIPAA-compliant software might range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. With each response to each of the previously listed points, the list of criteria grows. The type of software, whether it transmits data or not, its complexity, the language you use, the database you use, your abilities, or whether you need to hire people, and so on. Custom-created software built for a specific purpose, not compliance, is the most expensive aspect. HIPAA compliance is simply one of many things to consider during the design process, and it doesn’t add much, if any, to the cost when included early on.
Your web app’s hosting may be more expensive if you’re dealing with patient data with names attached, but software engineering is no different from any other software.
Because it is more of a security culture, there is no such thing as ‘HIPAA’ compliance. The point is that you should build the complete solution with the OCR Audit process in mind, including IT infrastructure, facilities, software, hardware, HR, and so on, and then pay for a third-party audit and attestation. The audit’s findings will highlight system-wide weaknesses and vulnerabilities that must be addressed, and the audit is typically done or advised once a year.
Factors that might make the price go upward
- If you currently own the programme and wish to upgrade it, the costs may not be too high. Back-end development is not as time-consuming as front-end development, requiring fewer hours and spending less money.
- It’s best to think about the technologies and frameworks you’d like to use in your app. An app produced utilizing cross-platform app development, for example, is substantially less expensive than one developed using native approaches.
- The average cost of HIPAA compliant software development is tied to the time to market, which is a crucial element. When developing an app, the production time is equally important because it directly impacts the cost. Timelines will be extended, and medical application development costs will rise due to project delays or changes in third-party element implementations.
- Unlike gaming or other applications, health apps must go above and beyond to adhere to strict norms and regulations. These rules were established by the government to ensure the safety of patients and protect their personal information.
- Last but not least, who you hire to develop the app impacts the final cost. If you employ a freelancer, you may negotiate a lower price, but the price may be more excellent if you engage a software development business.
What should you think about to make sure your software is HIPAA compliant?
- When a data breach is discovered, the Breach Notification Rule requires a company to notify the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s known as the breach notification rule. The statement must be made within 60 days of the finding in the circumstances involving 500 or more people. Patients whose information has been compromised must be informed within 60 days. A media alert to a local news outlet is required when the personal information of more than 500 patients is compromised.
- The security of email conversations is another element that businesses must consider. For all emails sent from your company’s network, encryption technologies such as AES for private data security against brute force attacks and OpenPGP or S/MIME for email encryption should be utilized.
- Not every employee requires access to PHI to perform their tasks. As a result, companies must implement role-based patient health data access. Organizations must identify the individual who will deal with PHI and categorize them into groups based on the PHI they need access to. As a result, different access permissions for each group should be designed so that each employee only has access to the information they need.
- In order to prevent unauthorized users from accessing PHI, set session time limits in the system. When a device is left unattended, the chance of someone obtaining access to and stealing sensitive data is reduced.
- Activity tracking technology can be used to monitor user behaviour in your systems and networks. An activity tracking system can assist you in detecting and preventing insider threats by identifying unusual behaviour. If one of your employees engages in unusual behaviour, whether intentionally or accidentally, the system will notify you and provide you with the opportunity to investigate.
The Bottom Line
Developing HIPAA-compliant software for a small business can cost roughly $4000. However, if your company is large or medium in size, costs can quickly spiral out of control.
When you examine the significant costs suffered by companies found in violation of HIPAA, it’s evident that the fines are meant to punish those who fail to protect patient data adequately. Being HIPAA compliant may appear to be both costly and complicated.
Protecting health information security and gaining your patients’ trust, on the other hand, are priceless. An onsite HIPAA compliance audit will certainly be beneficial if you’re a large provider. Security experts evaluate your company’s security risks, provide recommendations for resolving any issues, and consult on executing any pending HIPAA requirements.
For $20,000, you may complete a project of designing a HIPAA compliant app with just one full-stack engineer, or for roughly $300,000 per month, you can employ a team of 30 engineers, testers, designers, and managers. The number of platforms on which your app is distributed, as well as the number and sophistication of integrations, are all determined by the rationality of your app.
Furthermore, based on preliminary expense data and healthcare innovation patterns, the average cost of mobile health app development is predicted to climb over time.
In a data breach or a lawsuit, HIPAA compliance is an investment that protects an organization’s money and reputation. A proactive compliance programme helps avoid penalties, but it also shows the company’s ethics, which attracts top-notch personnel and patients. This is an essential consideration for CEs to consider when calculating the cost of compliance.