Often, the barrier that provides many companies and startups from expanding at a fast pace is the cost of entry for HIPAA Compliant Hosting. Because of the sensitive nature of PHI, HIPAA requires that the hosting environments be specially monitored in ways that are not required of the non-HIPAA sector. However, this type of increased security comes at a time cost for the provider, and a financial cost for the client: It is simply more expensive to host HIPAA data than non-HIPAA data. However, the barrier for entry need not be insurmountable. It is possible to find an inexpensive solution that still meets the safeguards required by HIPAA.
The first thing to consider is exactly how much one needs in terms of resources. It is easy to say “more is better” when it comes to resources. Everybody has wished that they had more RAM or hard drive space on their computer. But for an application or implementation that is going to essentially be “out of sight, out of mind,” maxing out on resources is sort of like buying a Lamborghini to go to the grocery store.
Especially for a small web app, or even a database server, several GB of RAM is not necessary to deliver reasonable performance. It is important to look at the requirements of server hosting differently than to that of a desktop computer. It is easy to use up 6GB of RAM on a consumer system because of things like rendering video or desktop effects. On a server, the resource usage is unaffected by graphical requirements in most cases. In this type of environment, it is possible to find a very reasonably-priced HIPAA hosting solution. For example, basic HIPAA hosting plans can come out to starting at $349/month, a comparable price to a non-HIPAA server solution.
The price goes up in accordance with the amount of extra features required by the implementation. For example, without a dedicated server administrator on staff, there may be a requirement to purchase managed hosting. This is often where companies rack up expenses quickly.
What is Managed Hosting? Managed hosting services mean that the handling of upgrades and administration is placed on the hosting company, not the client who is purchasing the hosting space. For a smaller company, it is fairly common to eschew the luxury of managed services by performing the server maintenance oneself.
With all these things to consider, it is also important to note that choice of provider is of absolute paramount importance. $349 to one HIPAA host may not be the same as $349 to another. Make sure that you research properly to see what a basic plan will get you, and importantly, what it will not get you. It is often better to look at the higher-tier plans to see what you are choosing to do without. However, with careful choice, it’s possible to purchase a reasonably-priced HIPAA hosting plan that will fulfill all the requirements, and then scale up as necessary. There’s no need to break the bank!