HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) requires that all healthcare entities increase their security posture to ensure they can prevent data breaches. Plus, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act encourages the adoption of health information technology via the use of electronic health records (EHRs) to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes. Both of these acts emphasize the importance of privacy and security with the use of electronic transmissions of protected health information (PHI).
The financial and reputational consequences that can occur from losing patient data make it well worth your time and energy to employ the services of an expert like Veltec Networks who can mitigate the risks of PHI and EHR breaches.
In 2009, HITECH increased the penalties and enforcement under HIPAA, however, many healthcare entities and their business associates continue to ignore this requirement. As a result, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now imposing severe civil monetary penalties for all violations.
The HITECH Act mandates that healthcare entities and their business associates take steps to strengthen safeguards for PHI, enable secure electronic exchange of PHI, and establish interoperability of systems, both internally and with externally.
If you want to avoid penalties, the time to protect your data channels and pave the road to compliance is now!—This includes data being transferred via email, ad hoc, automated managed file transfer, or internal or external electronic data interchange (EDI).
You must define, manage, and enforce policies to control the flow of information so you can secure data, whether in transit or in storage anywhere in your healthcare IT system.
The following are 12 things Veltec Networks can do to help you comply with HIPAA and HITECH regulations:
1. Develop and implement policies to help you control who can view and access data such as healthcare clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, insurance providers and other business associates.
2. Analyze the content of email messages and file attachments to automatically identify PHI and ensure that you comply with regulations.
3. If a violation is detected we’ll automatically:
- Stop and quarantine the interaction
- Remove the attachment from email
- Return a message to the original sender
- Notify a manager
- Retract the information
- Re-route and encrypt the email for secure delivery
4. Ensure PHI is always protected and stored securely. We’ll ensure your data is secured both in storage and in transit by utilizing encryption technology that meets The Federal Government’s NIST 800-52 or FIPS 140-2 requirements. This includes authenticating users and data integrity via a Web browser or scheduled transfers.
5. Implement a two-factor authentication and digitally signed documents to ensure only authorized users can access and transfer PHI.
6. Properly dispose of any PHI that isn’t encrypted and stored in a secure location.
7. Identify and report to you any data breaches we find, utilizing end-to-end monitoring and tracking of file movements with granular visibility, along with searchable audit logs and reporting capabilities for all applications, systems, and platforms you and your business associates use.
8. Ensure patients can access and view their EHRs online, plus transmit and download their health information within 36 hours after discharge from eligible hospitals and clinics.
9. Implement IT solutions so you can exchange large files (such as mammogram and x-ray films) securely and appropriately.
10. Ensure end-to-end visibility and distribution of EHRs between authorized providers and groups.
11. Make sure that your business associates are also in compliance.
12. Facilitate the secure exchange of PHI beyond your firewall, and ensure all partners, including state and federal agencies, submit transactions for eligibility, claims, claim status, enrollments, authorizations, and premium payments, so you can qualify for incentive payments.
Veltec Networks Keeps You Compliant With HIPAA and HITECH
Veltec Networks can help you establish secure electronic relationships for file transfer, data translation, and other types of interactions that your healthcare entity needs to secure the flow of information, and control the transmission and storage of EHRs and PHI.
Veltec Networks Will Be Your Dedicated IT Department.
Stop looking for a costly, inefficient, and time-consuming “computer guy.” Put your trust in a rock-solid outsourced IT company in San Jose and the Bay Area.
Call Veltec Networks at (855) 583-5832 to book a no-obligation review of your business systems, and we’ll put our team to work for you.