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HIT Security Column

The Future of HIPAA Compliance

The Future of HIPAA Compliance

The future of HIPAA compliance will bring more demanding electronic security regulations for healthcare organizations—or at least, that’s my prediction. But there are good reasons for making this prediction, and change will likely come sooner rather than later. First, it has happened before. HIPAA was originally passed in 1996. Incredibly, it took the government nearly […]

November 23, 2015 | By More
Another HIPAA Breach As Audits Ramp Up

Another HIPAA Breach As Audits Ramp Up

Another day, another massive HIPAA breach and eye-popping fine. On September 2, the government announced that a practice in Indiana has agreed to pay $750,000 in fines after a laptop was stolen from an employee’s car. The laptop was not encrypted, and it contained 55,000 patient records. The breached records included patient names, addresses, dates […]

September 8, 2015 | By More
Death to Faxes

Death to Faxes

Death to faxes. There, I said it. Nearly every medical organization in this country still uses fax machines. This vintage, 1960s technology was replaced long ago in some industries. But many practices still send dozens or even hundreds of faxes a day. It is familiar, reliable technology. Unfortunately, the fax machine is also a major […]

June 8, 2015 | By More
HIPAA and Interoperability

HIPAA and Interoperability

HIPAA security and interoperability depend on one another. The federal government is pushing hard for both providers and vendors to adopt interoperability. Partly as a result, new HIPAA regulations are likely on the horizon. The government has already doubled down on quality-reporting with the new SGR Fix, which will consolidate Meaningful Use, PQRS, and the […]

May 18, 2015 | By More
Show Me Your HIPAA Security File

Show Me Your HIPAA Security File

Show me your HIPAA security file and I’ll show you mine. Did you know that HIPAA requires you to maintain security documentation for six years? This requirement applies to both Covered Entities and Business Associates. If you open your security file and nothing but a half-eaten sandwich falls out, the time to start one is […]

April 13, 2015 | By More
HIPAA Requires Access to Health Records

HIPAA Requires Access to Health Records

Ransomware is a growing threat for healthcare providers Healthcare providers may not be aware that HIPAA requires access to health records, in addition to protecting data from breaches. Remember that the HIPAA Security Rule is designed to protect the Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA) of health information. When we think of HIPAA, we usually think […]

March 23, 2015 | By More
Disaster Recovery is a HIPAA Requirement

Disaster Recovery is a HIPAA Requirement

Disaster recovery is probably the most neglected area of HIPAA compliance for ambulatory practices. Hospitals have disaster recovery and business continuity plans because they care for critical patients and stand to lose many thousands of dollars each day they are closed. But many ambulatory practices imagine they’ll muddle through any disaster. They may not realize […]

February 9, 2015 | By More