Government departments and various healthcare and hospital associations have worked diligently to develop and implement regulations and guidelines to maintain the privacy and security of patient data.
The three primary focus for privacy and security regulations in processing your healthcare patient data are:
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Digital6 Technologies is prepared to negotiate a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with you as the Managed Service Provider (MSP) managing your patient information. To ensure compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, we would make sure the BAA includes clear expectations about:
- MSP use and disclosure of protected health information
- Safeguards to secure Protected Health Information (PHI) from unauthorized use
- Protocol to report any unauthorized disclosure or use
- Availability of MSP practices and records
- Contract termination procedures
Compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule requires you to conduct a thorough risk assessment to help identify areas where protected information is at risk of disclosure. The DHHS recognizes this could be a considerable challenge for many healthcare providers. They have provided a 156 question Security Risk Assessment Tool on their website that will help you better understand the potential impact of noncompliance and what is really being required. Digital6 specialists can help with the risk assessment.
Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act)
The HITECH Act extends the data security standards and privacy provisions for electronic records beyond HIPAA. To fulfill the goal of interoperability, healthcare service providers must use certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) technology which allows the electronic exchange of patient information. The patient-centered reasons for your using such technology include:
- Improved coordination of patient care, including among physicians, labs, pharmacies, hospitals and community clinics
- Improved quality and timeliness of care from diagnosis and testing to treatment and followup
- Improved public health
Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR)
An important part of the HITECH Act is the implementation of EHRs. Are you one of the 22% of physicians who had Medicare payments cut because you could not meet government benchmarks for EHRs?
The Digital6 Technologies team recognizes that the IT challenges, especially for small practices and clinics can be overwhelming. Their specialists can help you find an affordable, efficient way to design and implement an IT solution to maintain the security of your patient data and other healthcare information.