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BIG MYTHS SURROUNDING COMPUTER SECURITY AND HIPAA COMPLIANCE

Physical Security is as Good as Encryption A locked office with a camera system may prevent robbery or physical intrusion, but what happens if a successful breach occurs? One recent physical incursion caused the loss of 4 million patient records, and there was no encryption in place. These systems could have easily been encrypted for free. To safeguard data, use a free program like Bit Locker, encrypt backups, and centralize safe data with remote desktop software. Keeping secure data off individual workstations – and enforcing this policy across the workplace – saves money, reinforces legal defensibility, and reduces potential leaks.

Compliant IT Covers All the Bases.

Full HIPAA-compliance, of course, means a full set of protocols, procedures, and processes, in addition to secure IT systems. Secure systems training needs to accompany basic security protocols, such as strong password guidelines, locked computer equipment, and two-factor authentication. Covered entities need to be very cautious and concerned about such peripheral security measures.

 BIG MYTHS SURROUNDING COMPUTER SECURITY AND HIPAA COMPLIANCE

Legal HIPAA-compliance requires a full spectrum of safeguards, from the post-it to the data centre.

Misconceptions about HIPAA’s new regulations abound, and the new rules now extend coverage to include IT service providers. With such an expanded and complex liability chain, and a constantly changing landscape, learning the ropes can be a challenge. Both medical providers and providers of IT support in San Diego should work together to ensure that they are fully compliant.

Compliance for My Computer Systems Starts and Stops At the Technology Itself

Oh, so wrong once again. HIPAA considers technology infrastructure as key pieces to the compliance paradigm, but it is far from being the end all, be all to ensuring your office is holding itself to the standards expected. The broader discussion is as much one about the people, processes, and procedures in place as it is about the whiz-bang technology being employed. Don’t allow any consultant to come in and tell you that “I can give you this, this, and this to get you fully HIPAA compliant for xx amount of money”. Foolish thinking, but something I see and hear all the time. One of the biggest facets that are underestimated regarding HIPAA and technology usage is the people side of things. Encrypted disk drives and email systems are wonderful — but only when used in the proper hands.

Security Through Obfuscation Is Good Security

I’ve been helping more than a few clients lately (even some who are outside of healthcare) wade through fixing past mistakes about relying too heavily on “security via obfuscation”, also known as “security through obscurity” to some. I catch these practices in use with new customers a few times a year, but this discredited approach to security is coming to the surface heavily now that most of the healthcare industry is being pushed under the HIPAA bus. And it seems that the worst culprits are the small medical organizations, those with perhaps a single owner and a few assistants. These are the ones that tried for many years to do their own IT infrastructure work and are calling us for an SOS in the face of HIPAA

 

What Is HIPAA Compliant Email And Is It For You?

HIPAA compliant hosting isn’t something most people think about today but it could actually be one of the most important tools on your computer. Keeping personal files safe is important always, especially when it comes to medical and health files. Unfortunately there have been lapses in security resulting in patient information being leaked. This is not only criminal but bad for those who find their personal life out in the open for all to see. However do you know what being HIPAA complaint means and if so, will this be necessary for you?

What Does HIPAA Compliant Mean?

HIPAA compliant email is a tool which helps to protect people, patients mainly who are in hospital or undergoing treatment. Patient information and files are often sent digitally today over the internet via email and sometimes the information has disappeared. However this is not only bad but extremely concerning for that patient. No information should be given out unless about a person unless that patient has specifically authorized it. Find out more informations here.

Working in Health Industry

If you are someone who works primarily in the health or medical industry and have access to private or confidential information you may want to consider HIPAA compliant email. This is going to ensure everything is kept safe and private. You may not have thought about it over the years but it is something which is fast becoming necessary in society. It is a simple tool but something which can help to ensure privacy and safety across the country.

Dealing With Sensitive and Private Information

For those who deal with medial information and files, even on a rare occasion, it will be important to consider HIPAA. You need to become HIPAA compliant so that files are protected. This is all about protecting people and ensuring sensitive and personal information isn’t leaked to anyone, even family members. HIPAA compliant cloud storage may be necessary if you deal with medical records in any way.

Think Very Carefully

Before dismissing HIPAA compliant cloud storage you need to give some serious thought and consideration over this decision. If you in any way deal with or come into contact with private and personal medical information then you really do need to consider HIPAA. This is a serious matter and you don’t want to accidentally cause someone harm by allowing access to their private information. It can happen and you don’t want to run the risk so if in doubt ask a professional and get the right software to protect you and patients.

Ensure You Are HIAPA Compliant

There are reasons why HIAPA compliant measures have been put into place and even though you might personally believe it’s not necessary, don’t take a chance. This is serious and you never know what could happen. That is why you need to consider cloud storage, email and hosting compliant measures. Being HIPAA compliant will remove a lot of risk and it can be a good idea even if you only occasionally handle sensitive documents. Being HIPAA email compliant is necessary so consider it wisely.

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Will your cloud be HIPAA compliant?

The medical business is geographically dispersed in nature. Due to this, it is a clear nominee for cloud compliant services. Just about every medical office, as a patient, parent, or counselor, has had some form of criticism about the nature of the information technology services provided to their practice. Even the large activities associated to universities and teaching hospitals always seem to put information technology in the necessary wicked category, rather than as an opportunity for business improvement.

But the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mean that the safety of medical data is an absolute need of time for any seller that deals with medical information. And this isn’t a set of recommendations; data centers have to assemble very strict principles for data security to be HIPAA certified.

The documentation steps range from precise training for data center employees who have access to confined data, to government audits by HIPAA examiner that declare that the requirements in the Code of Federal policies are met. Additional reporting necessities are required and guarantees must be given for the security of the data. Violating those guarantees can result in a variety of punishments.

Will your cloud be HIPAA compliant?

The issue that cloud service providers will come across in providing services to the medical industry is that every data center that has any patient data will strictly need to be HIPAA certified. So there is no simple way of making certain that particular components of the patient data will be exposed to anyone when that data may be dispersed throughout the cloud.  You can also visit this site for more information. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be HIPAA certified cloud emailing; it only means that the wide promise of cloud delivered services being able to be a finest of breed choice from among all accessible choices won’t be one that will be accessible to medical services that are dealing with patient data.

Here are five things you need to know to ensure your usage of cloud storage for protected health information (PHI) is in accordance with HIPAA.

1.There are no “HIPAA-certified” CSPs.

Beware of CSPs that say they are HIPAA certified. What you want is a CSP that has the needed controls and processes in place to comply with the HIPAA needs for which it is responsible.  To make sure, go with a CSP that has undergone  independent audits of its data center operations.

1.Know the definitions for HIPAA compliance

Individuals, agencies and organizations that meet the definition of a covered unit must fulfill with specific requirements highlighted in the Privacy Rule and that comprise HIPAA.

1.Your contract with a CSP should include a business associate agreement

Covered units are required to have a written contract with any third party contractor it works that will be using PHI on the organization’s part.

There are many other thoughts for analyzing CSPs to store up PHI, but these will give you a solid start.  The point to keep in mind is that as more healthcare organizations move data to the cloud to get the benefits offered, an increased number of CSPs are planning to capitalize on the drift. Make sure you get your outcomes.

How HIPAA can be ideal to store your Health Data?

Some medical affiliated companies will use a Hipaa compliant cloud storage company to store their information and data. They have decided to choose this as a back up storage because most of this information is vital for their financial background and also for the health and well being of their patients. If this information is just stored on their computers in the office or facility, and the computer crashes without proper back up procedures, all of this vital information is lost. Many times there is not way to retrieve it. If there happens to be a fire or a flood or some kind of natural disaster as to where the computer system is destroyed, there is also many times no way to retrieve this vital information and could cost patients their lives.

What Is Hipaa?

HipaaHipaa stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act regulates how sensitive patient data has to be protected. Any company that deals with protected health information are required to make sure that all required network and physical security measures are being followed for the protection of the patient and their privacy. So any company that deals with medical information including storage of any type of physical paper records or cloud internet storage, must be responsible and reliable to be able to properly store medical records. More information about Hipaa hosting are in this site: http://health.state.tn.us.

Important Things To Consider When Choosing A Cloud Storage

  • How secure is the storage system
  • How reputable is the company that offers it
  • How accessible are the records to you if you need to access them
  • What are the requirements that are needed to access the records
  • If a problem occurs, does the company offer enough customer service to you

The Importance Of Privacy

Choosing the correct hipaa compliant hosting company is not always about the cost. If you find a company that will offer you cloud storage and a fraction of the cost to everyone else, be sure and check out their security measures and their reputation. There could be a reason that is not good and could in the long run cost you much more than the few dollars that you could save. Choosing a company with a good reputation and security measures is a much safer way to make your decision. Protecting your information and your patients private information should be your number one concern when making your selection. Check here to find how HIPAA can be ideal to store your health data?

When it comes to a patients medical records, it is vital that they do not become public knowledge. When a patient visits your office of facility it now becomes your responsibility to make sure that their information stays private and confidential. It is illegal for anyone in your facility to give out information to anyone without signed written consent of your patient. If you have made the decision to store your information with a cheaper company that has a cheaper security level, you might find yourself fighting a legal battle. This decision must be made with care and consideration of all of the security factors when you are selecting your Hipaa compliant cloud storage, to back up medical records.

 

Seven Steps to Make Your Website HIPAA Secure

hipaa-securityWhen medical websites are created, they need to comply with the legal laws set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Though the laws are quite flexible, they can prove to be confusing. So it is important that all medical professionals ensure that their website is HIPAA secure. This will mean that they will not face any financial liabilities, which can run into thousands of dollars.

As doctors and other medical professionals feel under increasing pressure to promote their practices online, there are certain regulations that they need to comply with. They are providing a service to patients, and potential patients, so that they can get a speedy and secure service for their individual medical needs. With patients able to book appointments, order prescriptions, and get health advice online.

However, the medical professionals have to ensure this remains protected health information (PHI). There are steps that you can follow make your website HIPAA secure, so that your practice is protected from any legal action.

How to Make Your Website HIPAA Secure

1. Transport Encryption – as protected health information is being sent over the internet, it I important to make sure that it is encrypted. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that you create a secure website. Ensuring that it is SSL protected so that PHI can’t be accessed by third parties.

2. Backup – a service which many Web Hosts provide so that none of the protected health information that you hold can never be truly lost should there ever be a problem. Either a technical or human error that may have caused a file to have become deleted accidentally.

3. Authorization – only authorized personnel should be allowed access to the protected health information that you hold about your patients. This can usually be achieved by setting access codes that only certain staff members are aware of to make your website HIPAA secure.

4. Integrity – your website can be designed with certain codes so that none of the PHI can be altered or tampered with in any way.

5. Storage Encryption – another element in making your website HIPAA secure is to make sure that the storage facility that you use keeps all the PHI it holds encrypted.

6. Disposal – when it comes to the disposal of a certain file, you need your website to make this a permanent deletion. Then the protected personal information can’t be retrieved in any way.

7. Omnibus/HITECH – it needs to be shown on the web servers that you have a HIPAA Business Association Agreement with the vendors that you are using.

The steps above are the minimal requirements needed in how to make your website HIPAA secure. It is your decision to what degree your particular website requires them. It is important to discuss any issues that you may have with the web designers. All to create a site that has HIPAA compliant web design. You will also need to find a company that can offer you HIPAA compliant web hosting, to make your website HIPAA secure.

Is Your Cloud Service Provider HIPAA compliant?

I Think So.

To be honest, if that is your answer, you better make sure straight away that they are a HIPAA complaint cloud storage supplier. If you are found to be in breach of the HIPAA requirements and the Security Rule and Privacy Rule, the penalties for that breach range from $100 up to $250,000 plus 10 years imprisonment, plus a place on the Department of Health and Human Services Wall off Shame. To lay yourself open to these potential penalties all because you did not check properly is a great risk. The provider saying that they are is not accepted as an excuse.

What do I need to Check For to Ensure They Are?

Firstly if your provider is a HIPAA cloud storage company they will not be a “HIPAA Certified” cloud storage company. There is no recognized board of certification for HIPAA cloud storage providers. Any reputable cloud service provider will be independently audited every year. This will be carried out in accordance with the HIPAA Audit Protocols for both their method of operation and their infrastructure.

Ideally this should be measured against the Office of Civil Rights laid down criteria. They HIPAA cloud storage provider will expect and be willing to sign a business associate’s agreement (BAA). This must be a written agreement between you and the HIPAA compliant cloud storage provider. The agreement lays down what your cloud storages provider will do for you. It also confirms that it will work within the requirements of HIPAA requirements.

Anything Else?

Yes, now that you’ve satisfied yourself with the above, you still need to carry out and document your due diligence. Due diligence requires that you ask of the HIPAA compliant cloud storage company some detailed questions. Among the questions you may wish to ask could be;

• Who is it within the cloud service provider is responsible for ensuring that the provider is HIPAA compliant?

• What procedures does the cloud service provider have in place to ensure business continuity in the event of a failure of service?

• What training program and ongoing awareness programs do they have in place for all their employees to ensure that the security requirements of HIPAA are adhered to?

• Does the cloud service provider have a track record in dealing with, and fully complying with the requirements of HIPAA?

• Are you able to confirm the standards by which their company has their security audit carried out and can you see the results?

There are no doubt more questions that you will need to ask specific to your requirements. These questions are only general and intended as just some possible suggestions.visit the original source for more information.

cloud server provider

OK, Done All That is That it?

You have done carried out the checks on the HIPAA compliant cloud service provider and satisfied yourself that they are complying with the Security Rule and the Privacy Rule, is that all you need to do? To put it simplistic terms, no. You have to carry out these check http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/answer/Googles-HIPAA-compliant-cloud-what-you-need-to-know regularly. Remember the onus is on you.

Which Cloud Storage Services are HIPAA Compliant?

As a First Step

Before one even starts to find out which are the HIPAA compliant cloud storage services you need to acquaint yourself with what is necessary for them to be able to make this claim. If you are looking for HIPAA compliant storage you are probably aware that you have a need for it and, as such, will have a basic understanding of what HIPAA requires from you when storing data. In simple terms a HIPAA compliant clouds storage provider has to follow the same regulations.

Looking for HIPAA Compliant Storage Providers.

There are two ways to find a HIPAA compliant cloud storage provider. You could as a trusted friend of colleague or search the internet. In either way the obligation is on you to carry out due diligence before entrusting your data to your chosen company. Any company that claims to be HIPAA “HIPAA Certified” is one to stay clear of. They may actually comply with HIPAA requirements but, as there is no such thing as an approved certification system, they are misleading you from the start. If they are not truthful on that what else are they misleading you on? Remember the obligation is on you to ensure that you electronic patient health information (ePHI) is secure.

What to Look For.

Any reputable cloud service provider will be independently audited every year. This will be carried out in accordance with the HIPAA Audit Protocols for both their method of operation and their infrastructure. Ideally this will be measured against the Office of Civil Rights laid down criteria. They HIPAA cloud storage provider will expect and be willing to sign a business associate’s agreement (BAA). This must be a written agreement between you and the HIPAA compliant cloud storage provider. The agreement lays down what your cloud storages provider will do for you. It also confirms that it will work within the requirements of HIPAA requirements.

Questions you May Wish to Ask During your Due Diligence.

• Review their annual security audit and check the standard on which is judged by.

• Does the company have a past track record in dealing with all the HIPAA requirements?

• Do they have procedures in place to ensure business continuity and what are they?

• Is there a program in place to make sure that all employees are trained and aware of security as applied to HIPAA? visit http://www.datastorageconnection.com/doc/cleardata-introduces-hipaa-compliant-long-term-cloud-storage-solution-0001 for more updated information.

• Who is it within the organization that has the responsibility to ensure that it is HIPAA compliant?

cloud storage

Once all these questions can be answered to your satisfaction you can be reasonably sure that the cloud service provider you have chosen will be able to provide you with HIPAA compliant cloud storage. The penalties for failing to ensure that your provider is fully HIPAA compliant can be severe. In the worst cases a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 10 years imprisonment are able to be applied. Even in the smaller breaches there is, in addition to a fine a place on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Wall of Shame.

HIPAA Compliant Cloud Storage That is Affordable and Easy to Use.

Which is the Most Important?

In an ideal world you will find the cheapest and easiest to use HIPAA compliant cloud storage service provider straight off and with minimal effort on your part. In reality you will have to weigh the cost of the service versus the cost involved. And ask yourself which is the most important?

Is Affordability Your Main Criteria?

Is cost is an important factor in making you decision on which HIPAA compliant cloud storage company you use? Firstly in reaching your decision you need to look at all the costs, not just the headline price.

You cannot compare the cost of HIPAA compliant storage with standard storage, you should expect to pay more. The cost to the service provider is much more than that of a standard service provider. They need an employee who is responsible for compliance, all employees need to be trained in complying with HIPAA and they will have to sign a business associate agreement (BAA) with you.

These additional costs to be able to provide a HIPAA compliant service to you add costs to them. Added to that there is simply the law of supply and demand. There are far fewer companies, due to the stringent requirements placed on them, providing a HIPAA compliant service that those providing a standard service.read latest news at http://www.newswiretoday.com/news/145132/.

What About Ease of Use?

With some HIPAA compliant cloud storage service providers they provide and automatic encryption and encryption service so that anything sent to the cloud for storage is secure. Others just guarantee to keep the files you have sent secure. So before you send out a document to the cloud for storage it needs to be manually encrypted.

When you retrieve it, the document needs to be manually decrypted.

Not only is that not an easy method of storing you files it is time consuming and adds a cost to your business. Looking at some hypothetical figures, say one service, Company A, costs $100 per month and a second one, Company B, costs $200 per month, a difference of $100. The service provided by Company A needs you to manually encrypt and decrypt every file you send and receive. If you then look at the number of files you send and receive each month and multiply that by the cost of the person who is doing the encryption and decryption. With Company B you just need to click on the file you are going to send and it automatically is encrypted and sent. When you retrieve a file the same thing happens in reverse. The $100 difference is perhaps a little different than appears at first sight.this website helps you a lot of informative information.

HIPAA compliant solutions

Another Point to Remember.

The penalties for breaching HIPAA Security and Privacy Rules range from $100 up to $250,000 plus 10 years imprisonment, plus a place on the Department of Health and Human Services Wall off Shame. To lay yourself open to these potential penalties all because someone forgot to encrypt some files puts the $100 difference in perspective.

How to Send HIPAA Compliant Email.

Why do we need to send HIPAA Compliant Emails?

It is a common misconception that all emails are secure and therefor all the mail we send out are HIPAA compliant emails.If you use an email service provided by you internet provider or a free email service such as Yahoo or Gmail, these are not secure and do not meet the requirements of HIPAA. You need to use a service that is HIPAA approved. Using an unsecure service will open the possibility of you and your company being laid open to sanctions.

How Does Secure Emails Systems Work?

There are a variety of ways in which you can ensure that you send HIPAA compliant emails. Firstly you have to sign up for a service which offers a specifically HIPAA compliant service. There services that offer encrypted emails but not of the standard that is required for HIPAA compliance. Some HIPAA complaint services offer an email service that secures your emails once they reach their servers, others that encrypt the email before it leaves your computer. Some will offer a service that can only be used between tow computers that are attached to the service providers system. There are a multitude of providers and systems.

Which is the Best?

There are pros and cons with whichever system you choose. The answer to that is what do you really need to operate in such a way that suits your business the best? With the systems that encrypt at your computer before the email is sent, you will need to either send to customers of the same service or to give the recipients a secure email box that uses your domain name. If you are sending secure emails to a limited number of recipients outside your organization this may work well.more updated information at http://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/2014/08/20/icd-10-cm-ais-mapping-software-a-545898.html.

HIPAA compliant

Does Every Email I Send have to be Encrypted?

The short answer to that is no, not every email you send has to be a HIPAA compliant email. Your emails only have to be encrypted if they contain electronic patient’s health information (ePHI). There is an exception to that rule as well. If a patient requests that you send them some ePHI via email, and you are sending information directly to a patient. You need to make that patient aware that the information you are sending them is not encrypted, if that patient agrees and still wants the information, you may send it unencrypted. You need to make a note that you have given the patient this warning and that they agreed.check their latest comment for more detailed information.

What if I Don’t Encrypt my Emails?

If you are caught not sending HIPAA compliant emails there are various sanctions that can be taken against you. There are fines ranging from $100 for the most minor of breaches ranging up to $250,000 plus up to 10 years imprisonment for the most serious and flagrant breaches. All this can be avoided by taking a little time to make sure that all you emails are encrypted.

Privacy rules under HIPAA

The privacy rules, which come under HIPAA, are not something, which is completely new for any person. Many people would have gone through the experience of signing the HIPAA form when they went for a visit to the doctor and this form will be stored along with the medical records of the patient. People who have had to undergo any kind of medical tests or those who have been hospitalized before would have to sign a HIPAA form along with many other consent forms.

In 1996, the US Congress passed the health insurance portability and accountability act, which will help in providing more protection for people with regard to insurance and the privacy of their medical information. These rules were also designed to help in improving the security measures with regard to the electronic exchange of data. The privacy rules of HIPAA were enforced in 2003, and these were designed to provide protection for the medical information of all patients like the status of their health, payment for the required health care etc. These rules regarding privacy will ensure that medical records of the patient and the details regarding the payment for the medical facilities are well guarded and protected.

The privacy rules which come under HIPAA state that any person or individual can ask for any kind of incorrect information to be completely removed from their medical records. Every individual also has the right to ensure that the privacy of his or her personal information has been maintained. Personal information pertains to personal contact details like the address, telephone number, social security number etc.

If a person does not want any of his personal information to be revealed, then the authorities should respect this right. This law also gives people the right to procure a copy of their medical records whenever they want and this copy should be delivered within thirty days of the request being submitted. If any person feels that the security of his or her personal information has been compromised in any manner, then they can file a complaint with the office of civil rights, which comes under the department of Health and Human Services.

hipaa

All the health care agencies, which come under HIPAA, should ensure that all the medical records of the patient are kept extremely private and confidential. The payment records of the patients also come under this. Just as how there are exceptions to every rule, this rule does not apply when there is a case of child abuse being investigated and the required information will have to be revealed to the concerned authorities.more news at http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=813a917a-bee7-4947-88d5-85235f99f321.

If someone has placed a request for personal information, then all the required authorization forms should be signed by the concerned individual before any kind of personal medical information or contact information has been released to the concerned authorities. Only the necessary amount of information should be released and nothing more than that should be revealed. An official should be posted in order to ensure that the privacy of the information has been preserved as much as possible.follow her latest news and updates.