HIPAA/HITECH

HITRUST Updates: CSFBASICs, HITRUST CSF v8.1, HITRUST CSF v9

On March 1, 2017, HITRUST announced its roadmap for 2017, which included improvements to the HITRUST CSF and a renewed focus on smaller healthcare organizations. The roadmap focuses on combating cyber threats and information risks while advancing protection standards regarding healthcare data through CSFBASICs, HITRUST CSF v8.1, HITRUST CSF v9,…

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3 Security Trends that will Continue in 2017

With the ushering in of another new year, I find myself acting nostalgic, wondering where the previous year went and of course pondering the year ahead. Here are three security and commerce trends which will continue in 2017. Healthcare Data Breach According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, healthcare data breaches…

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Phase 2 of the HIPAA Audit Program Launches

Author: Gene Geiger, CPA, CISSP, CCSK, QSA, PCIP, ISO 27k LA, and Partner at A-LIGN. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced Phase 2 of the HIPAA Audit Program. Every covered entity and business associate will be eligible to be…

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HITRUST Assessment Scoping Guidelines

We are asked routinely “which controls will A-LIGN test as part of the HITRUST assessment?”.  The answer to that question depends on the environment and the outcome of the scoping process.  Scoping occurs in the initial phases of your HITRUST assessment process in order to…

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A Breach in the Hull: HIPAA Breach Notification Requirements

If health information is compromised, do you know your organization’s responsibilities related to breach notification of electronic protected health information (ePHI)?  The responsibilities of your organization for breach notification depends on a few items, including: Whether you are a covered entity or a business associate The timing of when the…

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Relevant Audit Selection for Cloud Providers

Just as in physical storage, cloud service providers are used to store sensitive data.  This can be anything from credit card information to personal information such as social security numbers.  There are three key cloud services:  Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  The storage of sensitive data will inevitably lead a cloud service provider to need a specific audit performed by a third-party entity, such as A-LIGN, due to legal, regulatory and/or contractual obligations.  It is important for cloud service providers to understand its obligations first when selecting an audit.  

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New HIPAA Rules: Impact on Business Associates

As I read the “Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; Other Modifications to the HIPAA Rules” recently released by the Department of Health and Human Services, I struggled to think how to summarize the 563 page PDF document into a meaningful summary for A-LIGN’s clients.  The title alone is a paragraph long.  A large part of the document is minutia that is not relevant for the everyday conversation on how to protect electronic protected health information (“ePHI”) but there are some key points and clarifications that are made which I believe should be understood by our clients.  As a provider of audit, compliance and security services primarily to companies defined as service organizations or service providers, I will focus on two key points that impact service organizations that handle ePHI, applicability and liability.

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Impact of the HITECH Act on HIPAA Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") introduced Privacy and Security regulations to protect protected health information (“PHI”). HIPAA was primarily directed at healthcare providers, health care clearinghouses or health plans (such as an insurance company), which are referred to as covered entities (“CE”). As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”) expanded the reach and penalties related to HIPAA compliance. Two of the key areas where HITECH impacts companies’ HIPAA compliance relate to the requirements of Business Associate (“BA”) and the requirement for federal breach reporting requirements for HIPAA CE’s and BA’s.

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Impact of the HITECH Act on HIPAA Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") introduced Privacy and Security regulations to protect protected health information (“PHI”). HIPAA was primarily directed at healthcare providers, health care clearinghouses or health plans (such as an insurance company), which are referred to as covered entities (“CE”). As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”) expanded the reach and penalties related to HIPAA compliance. Two of the key areas where HITECH impacts companies’ HIPAA compliance relate to the requirements of Business Associate (“BA”) and the requirement for federal breach reporting requirements for HIPAA CE’s and BA’s.

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