HIPAA, HITECH and Economic Stimulus?

4 09 2009

One never knows these days whether legislation will contain items affecting your business and not staying informed can be costly.

The recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 not only addresses economic stimulus but contains powerful modifications to the HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules. These new regulations are known as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health, or The HITECH Act.

From my initial research on this new legislation, the implications are far reaching for any business associated with health care organizations – think accountant, lawyer, pharmacy to name just a few. Under HITECH business partners must adhere to the same rules and regulations defined in HIPAA’s Privacy and Security rules as the healthcare organizations themselves and are subject to the same penalties. A simple example is email communication and document exchange. Exchanges between healthcare providers and their business partners containing protected health information (PHI), such as a prescription order sent by a doctor’s office to the pharmacy, must be secure and encrypted. When these new regulations become effective, communicating with business partners via standard email and FTP will not be sufficient.

How is your organization making plans to comply with the new rules?

Here are a few links I found useful for further reading:
http://www.hipaa.com/2009/07/transmission-security-encryption-what-to-do-and-how-to-do-it/
http://healthplans.hcpro.com/content.cfm?content_id=228444&topic=WS_HLM2_HEP
http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/community/features/articles/blog/hitech-act-ramps-up-hipaa-compliance-requirements/?cs=31575

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Going Social Doesn’t Need to be Risky

31 08 2009

At some point in your business day you probably check out a social networking site or two, but what are you saying? Who are you saying it to? Is it business information or just business as usual?

Social networking services like Facebook and Twitter foster a false sense of security and lead users to share information which can be used by cybercriminals and social engineers. The very concept of social networking is based on connecting and sharing, but with who?

A recent study found that many users simply accept requests to connect even if they do not know the person they are connecting with. The actual numbers found that 13% of Facebook users and a whopping 92% of Twitter users simply connect with anyone who asks.

Managed not just your profile, but your network.