Medical organizations – including healthcare practitioners, plans, and clearinghouses – are considered covered entities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. HIPAA was enacted to safeguard the security and privacy of the protected health information (PHI) of patients. Healthcare companies must be compliant with the law to avoid hefty fines. They can choose to work with HIPAA compliant business associates, such as web hosting companies, if they choose.
When healthcare companies sign up for a HIPAA-compliant IT environment with a Cloud Hosting service, that outside organization is acting as a business associate according to the guidelines of HIPAA. In order to legally work with that organization and still follow the stipulations of the Act, medical businesses must sign a contract with the service (as with any outside party serving in a similar role) called a business associate’s agreement (BAA). Many companies do not understand why they need a BAA and what exactly is involved. Here, below, are the details.
As healthcare organizations are well aware, it’s necessary to make sure all technology meets the rules set forth in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Providers, medical plans, and clearinghouses of EMR data are all considered covered entities under HIPAA, meaning they must be compliant or undergo hefty fines. Any covered entity has the option of working with a business associate, an outside organization that handles data and can be held responsible for certain aspects of compliance.
Compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is necessary for a wide variety of medical organizations. Covered entities to which the law applies include healthcare providers, healthcare plans, and healthcare clearinghouses. Covered entities have the option to work with third parties – termed business associates – to meet their HIPAA compliance needs.
The Security and Privacy Rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protect every patient’s health information. Healthcare providers, health plans, and health clearinghouses are the three categories of organizations that are considered covered entities under the Act, so all businesses in those industries must be well aware of HIPAA requirements.
It’s a new term, but an old concept: the phrase “shadow IT” refers to employees using computing methods not previously approved by the company in order to work more efficiently. Sometimes used interchangeably with the term “stealth IT,” IT departments are often kept in the dark about these methods, only finding out once it’s too late. But if employees are getting their work done, what can be so bad about it?
When companies plan to move their existing IT services to a private cloud, security and compliance issues can seem a bit daunting. However, a move to the right cloud-based system with a respectable Cloud Hosting provider could actually reduce your compliance exposure. A private cloud does not have a public address and is connected directly into your existing corporate network via a secure connection, such as a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Therefore, only people inside your corporate network can access those services.
Virtualization has created new possibilities and opportunities for the health care segment of technology. Health care IT Professionals specializing in virtualization technologies are now finding more attractive and lucrative opportunities, especially with the new Health Care Reform and health care IT initiatives introduced by the new Administration.
Virtualization is the technology behind cloud computing and it makes such a pool of network resources a genuine possibility.
The complexity of our health care system has grown over the years making it more difficult for practitioners to stay informed about their patients health histories. Electronic Medical Records will help solve this problem. This method reduces the amount of paperwork involved in the process; while at the same time increasing access to these records by making them available electronically. EMR/EHR systems enable the practitioner to view a patient’s complete health event summary, historical reports and previous treatment records. This has resulted in an enormous gain in productivity in practices staffed with multiple physicians. The advantages are also evident in regard to patients with multiple aliments and in emergency medical situations.
With the passage of Healthcare Reform by Congress, there is a lot of talk about healthcare in the IT business community. Healthcare already accounts for about $2 trillion in federal spending each year; almost one out of every seven dollars spent in the U.S is related to healthcare. It looks as if billions more will be funneled into the healthcare IT segment, thanks to the new federal initiatives that require health care providers to maintain medical records electronically. This explains why almost every technology vendor out there is evaluating and exploring opportunities within the health care sector.
We sent Sam G. to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Expo (HIMSS) in Atlanta, Georgia earlier this month to do some investigating.