The traditional route to HIPAA compliance requires a substantial investment of time, money, and effort to achieve.

Automation can significantly reduce the amount of time and money needed to achieve HIPAA compliance by making the entire process more transparent and efficient.

How long does HIPAA compliance take without automation?

Achieving compliance with HIPAA requirements is a lengthy process that can consume a lot of internal resources. The process typically consists of: 

  • Completing a risk assessment and gap analysis
  • Implementing physical, technical, and administrative safeguards to comply with HIPAA Rules
  • Designating a HIPAA compliance officer to manage documentation and oversee ongoing compliance efforts 
  • Conducting regular HIPAA training for all staff that interface with PHI
  • Collecting and maintaining business associate agreements
  • Establishing a breach notification process
  • Documenting evidence of ongoing compliance in the event of an audit 

Once you achieve compliance, you have to maintain it. This includes monitoring and improving your safeguards, ensuring staff complete periodic security training and policy reviews, and maintaining documentation and evidence of compliance. 

How much does HIPAA compliance cost without automation?

The cost of HIPAA compliance varies depending on various factors, including the size and type of your organization, strength of your existing data security and privacy posture, and whether you need to hire external consultants. 

HIPAA compliance costs often include:

Vulnerability scanning and/or penetration testing

With a penetration test, also known as a “pen test,” a company hires a third party to launch a simulated attack designed to identify vulnerabilities in its infrastructure, systems, and applications. It can then use the results of that simulated attack to fix any potential vulnerabilities. Penetration tests cost between $1-5k, depending on the size of your organization and the complexity of your systems.

Security Tools and Training

Fixing gaps in your data management system can mean purchasing new security tools. You will also need to invest in employee security training.

Consulting Fees

Some organizations without internal HIPAA compliance expertise choose to hire a consultant to help them implement and evaluate their safeguards, complete a gap analysis, develop a remediation plan, and conduct a readiness assessment. If you choose to hire a consultant, expect to pay an additional $200-350 per hour, depending on your needs.

Smaller organizations can expect to spend around $12k and up on HIPAA compliance, while the cost of compliance for larger organizations can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. And because covered entities and business associates must continuously maintain compliance, many of these are recurring annual costs.

How Automation Can Help Cut the Costs of HIPAA Compliance

Security and privacy compliance automation platforms like Secureframe can reduce the time and costs of HIPAA compliance significantly by making the entire process more efficient — but the benefits of compliance automation go beyond time and costs savings.

In a survey conducted by UserEvidence, Secureframe users reported a range of benefits, including:

  • 97% strengthened their security and compliance posture 
  • 95% saved time and resources obtaining and maintaining compliance
  • 89% sped up time-to-compliance for multiple frameworks 
  • 85% unlocked annual cost savings
  • 71% improved visibility into security and compliance posture

Let's take a closer look at these benefits of Secureframe's compliance automation solution below.

Strengthens your security and compliance posture

With Secureframe, you understand exactly what you need to do to meet HIPAA requirements and track your progress towards being compliant. You’ll get a real-time view of what’s looking good and what you can do to improve.

You can also leverage our team of in-house compliance experts, which has decades of audit advisory and consulting experience. They understand your company’s specific requirements, provide tailored advice for an ironclad security posture, and guide you through a successful audit.

Saves time and resources

If your organization relies on a manual approach to compliance, you’ll need to:

  • Collect screenshots and documentation for evidence over and over
  • Track dozens of tasks in spreadsheets, some of which need to be performed annually, quarterly, or on another recurring basis to maintain compliance
  • Complete thorough risk assessments and gap analyses regularly as your business grows and industry standards evolve
  • Create a risk register and asset inventory in spreadsheets and keep those up-to-date
  • Write HIPAA policies from scratch and ensure they stay updated and that employees review them as they onboard and at least annually after that
  • Monitor your controls and infrastructure to identify any issues and remediate them as quickly as possible

As your organization spends more resources on repetitive manual tasks like these, the complexity and costs of a security compliance program rise sharply. Secureframe automates these manual tasks, reducing the time and resources it takes for your organization to achieve and maintain HIPAA compliance.

Speeds up time-to-compliance for multiple frameworks

As your compliance program expands beyond HIPAA, Secureframe can help reduce the time and effort required to comply with multiple frameworks. Secureframe automatically maps the control set and underlying tests of the HIPAA framework to the requirements of another framework. By doing so, organizations don’t have to waste valuable time and resources creating independent sets of controls, performing redundant tests, gathering the same evidence, and repeating other activities to comply with multiple frameworks that have common controls.

That means, if you add a new framework to your Secureframe instance, you will automatically see where you stand with that framework and how it overlaps with HIPAA. Due to such common overlap across frameworks, existing Secureframe customers adding new frameworks never start at 0% when adding a new framework to their instance. 

Unlocks cost savings

Compliance is an extremely cross-functional practice, where the assets under scope span multiple teams, including engineering, security, compliance, leadership, risk, IT, and HR. As a result, many compliance activities are performed by various teams that actually own the assets in question. This is why typical compliance automation software has focused on automating workflow aspects around cross-functional collaboration, such as ticket lifecycle management, cross-functional control ownership, alerting, and reporting.

However, Secureframe acts as an all-in-one solution and removes the need for many of these compliance activities to be human exercises at all. By reducing the amount of manual work that teams need to perform, Secureframe drastically lowers workflow and collaboration requirements, which leads to massive cost savings across the entire compliance function.

Improves visibility into your security and compliance posture

From your cloud infrastructure to your vendor ecosystem, we continuously scan and monitor your tech stack and alert you of vulnerabilities. This helps you achieve HIPAA compliance faster and stay compliant.

This automated continuous monitoring, combined with deep integrations and dashboards, provides your organization to with a holistic view of your compliance management program so you can see how your HIPAA controls are performing over time and if there are any non-conformities or compliance issues across your tech stack.

Hundreds of companies trust Secureframe to manage HIPAA compliance. If you’re ready to get started, schedule a demo with one of our product experts.

About the UserEvidence Survey

The data about Secureframe users was obtained through an online survey conducted by UserEvidence in February 2024. The survey included responses from 44 Secureframe users (the majority of whom were manager-level or above) across the information technology, consumer discretionary, industrials, financial, and healthcare industries.