Tag: HIPAA

Don’t Let Shadow IT Jeopardize HIPAA Compliance

By Brad Spannbauer, senior director of product management, eFax Corporate.

Bradley Spannbauer
Bradley Spannbauer

When it comes to cybersecurity, healthcare organizations are up against a constantly shifting threat landscape. New technologies and techniques, employed by increasingly advanced criminals, require organizations to be proactive in their defense efforts, or they risk being outsmarted by those who seek to expose them. But security threats don’t just come from external sources; risks are just as prevalent within organizations. In fact, the latest edition of Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report found that healthcare is the only industry where insiders pose the greatest threat to sensitive data, with 58 percent of incidents coming from within.

Whether malicious in intent or the result of innocent mistakes by healthcare workers doing their best in a high-stress environment, a failure to recognize these risks and apply appropriate safeguards can have grave consequences for healthcare providers. For example, an IBM & Ponemon Institute study revealed that healthcare data breaches cost organizations $408 per record on average, which is more than three times the global average across all other industries.  That may not seem like a lot of money, but multiplied by the thousands of records that could be contained on a stolen and unencrypted laptop, it adds up to a significant financial penalty.

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Implementing QA In Healthcare Industry Often Presents a Challenge

By Vikash Kumar, marketing manager, Tatvasoft.

Computer, Business, Office, TechnologySoftware testing and quality assurance have grown in critical importance for companies. Over the few years, it has established itself as a formidable career choice which is unlikely to stop anytime soon. Now as the name implies, quality insurance is all about maintaining “high quality” on a constant basis. And it isn’t surprising at all to see the concept making its way to the core of several industry verticals including the healthcare.

Quality monitoring is gaining momentum for purchasers, patients, and providers who strive hard to evaluate the value of health care expenditures. Over the past decade, science has evolved in regards to quality measurement despite a few challenges that might be a counterforce to the demands of cost containment. Well, the following post explores those crucial challenges that must be addressed in the Healthcare sector. But before that let’s take a bit of a detour which will eventually lead us to the answer.

Why the healthcare sector needs QA and testing

Speed and quality are one of the core essentials that tend to serve the healthcare industry more efficiently leading to a significant amount of inventions and advancements. One of the best examples showing how digitalization is becoming more capable of transforming the industry is that more and more number of people and devices are found connected to deliver meaningful interference from the data generated.

Technology is the best support system where different kinds of applications are created to deliver best services even at a distant. A sudden increase is found in the growth of healthcare products such as wearables, followed by applications especially the ones being associated with them. It may quite interest you to know that these can be termed as products featuring a big market and will continue to have a tremendous impact on the economy even in the upcoming years. Down below I would like to mention a few reasons stating why QA and testing are crucial in the healthcare industry.

#1 Big Data Testing in Healthcare: Because of being well associated with tons of information related to their patient’s health conditions, the healthcare industry is believed to be one of the most highly data-intensive sector. Several healthcare institutions and the associated segments to devise the right strategy building the right and relevant kind of products. Initially invented to derive the right interferences and the data point big data testing also helps in making certain decisions in regards to drug inventions, disease cure, and the last but not the least research and development. These decisions are some of the best and informed ones that anyone could take.

#2 Security of applications: I am sure you will agree with me when I say that healthcare websites have the most sensitive kind of the data about their patients and their health-related information. By security testing and penetration testing, we can make the websites, as well as applications, hack proof and sustainable especially in challenging a digital scenario. It is very important to conduct quality assurance and testing to ensure security to all such applications.

#3 Usability testing in healthcare: Usability testing is the most required in the health care industry. However, there are various features and the user scenarios that a pharmacist or a nurse can continue to face during their working hours. Do you think these tasks are of prime importance? Absolutely not! In fact, they can be eased with the help of automation, adding in more number of features that will help to simplify the entire process.

QA Challenges in Healthcare Apps

Healthcare industry has also started to introduce mobile platforms across the care delivery cycle, creating a voluminous medical app market. Further, we have extracted a few QA challenges concerning testing and healthcare mobile apps and how to get over them.

Challenge #1 Users and their expectations

Software usability has been a core element in the healthcare industry. Look at those EHR systems; it is very important to come up with something that not just offers accurate physical records but also aggregate physical activity recommendations with nutrition tracking. While testing a mhealth app, thinks about situations which patients may need it. During critical cases, older patients can make the most of condition management app that aids well in finding what their actual condition is and tap the emergency call button at an extreme point.

In addition to this, healthcare mobile apps have the potential to influence the stakeholders this includes patients, caregivers, care team members, administrative staff, insurers and more. The app should adequately support their workflows, so QA specialists need to get a good picture of basic user needs. Let’s say for example if the patient likes to connect his or her smartwatch to the app to monitor heart rate while exercising or if a physician would like to review his patient’s treatment plan progress remotely.

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Next Generation BAA Management Applying: Automation and AI To Reduce Costs and Ensure Compliance

By Greg Waldstreicher, CEO, PHIflow.

Greg Waldstreicher
Greg Waldstreicher

Healthcare organizations face unprecedented compliance challenges when it comes to managing business associate agreements (BAAs) amid frequent data breaches, heightened federal scrutiny and anticipated privacy legislation. Actions by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have clearly demonstrated stricter enforcement of HIPAA rules in recent years, and the industry has already witnessed a notable uptick in public shaming and fines associated with missing just a single BAA.

In December 2018 alone, OCR announced two notable settlements. Advanced Care Hospitalists (FL) entered into a $500,000 no-fault settlement with OCR, and Pagosa Springs Medical Center (CO) agreed to pay $111,400, both for missing a single BAA.

Simply put, BAAs have become a cornerstone of OCR compliance initiatives. And the outlook is not likely to change as trends point to continued advancement of privacy laws. As of close of 2018, 12 states had already updated their privacy laws regarding notification to patients, shortening the standard 60 days from the federal guidelines to 45 days, and in some states (CO, FL), the breach notification window is down to 30 days.

Breaches involving protected health information (PHI) are typically reported publicly at the Covered Entity (CE) level. When a breach involving a third party, or Business Associate (BA), occurs, one of the first things the federal government investigates is whether a BAA is in place with the CE. If a BAA does not exist, it typically sets off a chain reaction of investigations into other areas of HIPAA compliance.

While most headlines related to BAA compliance relate to CEs, HIPAA experts predict that 2019 will usher in greater focus on BAs and their management of these agreements as well. Many believe that unprepared BAs—especially small and mid-sized companies that lack resources to address HIPAA compliance—will become targets, increasing industry concern over proper BAA compliance.

Healthcare’s BAA management conundrum

Today’s healthcare organizations are feeling the heat, yet most are challenged to effectively manage BAAs due to limited resources for reviewing and managing massive and growing numbers of these agreements—reaching upwards of several thousand in larger organizations and health systems. Exacerbating this challenge is the current consolidation trend, which creates a fragmented landscape for BAA oversight that extends across multiple departments, facilities, affiliations and a multitude of different owners.

Consequently, manual, inconsistent workflows common to BAA management in today’s organizations open the door to significant risk. In truth, the most basic information often eludes the executive suite in most CEs and BAs, including the total number of existing agreements, where they are located and the terms of each.

BAAs are also the subject of intense negotiations between CEs, BAs and other subcontractors that often result in obligations that go beyond HIPAA and HITECH, causing contractual obligations to vary significantly between agreements. Subsequently, when organizations need to know the terms of these agreements, they must manually extract the information one agreement at a time. Within a framework of manual processes, the resources required to conduct this kind of data extraction across hundreds or thousands of BAAs is simply unfeasible for many organizations.

Yet, compliance professionals need quick and easy access to this information to ensure optimal response to breaches, which have become the norm for healthcare organizations as opposed to the exception. Consider the findings of a 2018 Black Book Market Research study: 90 percent of healthcare organizations have experienced a data breach since the third quarter of 2016, and nearly 50 percent have had more than five.

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Protecting Patient Data From Insider Threats

By Tim Critchley, CEO, Semafone.

Semafone CEO, Tim CritchleyIn the more than 20 years since the landmark passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), healthcare organizations have come a long way in protecting the security and privacy of patient data. Organizations now use sophisticated tools in the form of electronic health records (EHRs), online patient portals and virtual clinics that have elevated modern medicine to a new level of care. As a result, patients have come to expect a seamless interaction – whether digitally or in-person – with their healthcare provider, and trust that their personal information is safeguarded throughout.

But just as these new digital records and online portals make it easier to access and manage patient care and medical history, there still looms a security threat that organizations may not be as well-equipped to prevent. Despite the regulations put in place to guard against privacy violations and data theft, healthcare data breaches now occur at a rate of more than one per day, with nearly 60 percent of these breaches coming from insiders. You read that right. Unfortunately, the greatest threat to a healthcare organization may not always be from outside cybercriminals hacking into an organization’s network and stealing patient medical records. While the vast majority of healthcare workers are good and honest people, it only takes one employee succumbing to curiosity and taking a peek at a patient’s EHR without a valid reason, to violate HIPAA compliance laws and potentially cause a massive data breach.

Why are insider threats on the rise?

The healthcare sector employs tens of millions of people across the country, and organizations go to great lengths to hire quality employees. But the fact remains that access to sensitive information, coupled with large organizations that employ people with varying levels of commitment – whether full-time, part-time or as contractors – can present opportunities for unethical and unlawful actions.

For instance, I recently spoke with Phil Fasano, CEO and co-founder of Bay Advisors, LLC, and former executive at Kaiser Permanente, and he noted that the size of many large healthcare providers is more like a city than a business, and they often employ temporary staff and contractors. When he was executive vice president and chief information officer at Kaiser in the early 2000s, the organization employed more than 300,000 people, with some 60,000 to 80,000 being temporary, such as contact center workers, custodians and administrative staff. In high turnover roles and with temporary staff, not only may there be a lower familiarization with compliance regulations and data security protocols, there may also be a greater willingness to skirt the rules for short-term gain. Thus it becomes even more imperative for businesses to have the right tools, technology and training in place in order to ensure data security and privacy – not only to comply with the law, but to protect patients and the long-term viability of their business.

This issue is not hypothetical. There have been many high-profile examples in the news of healthcare insiders stealing patient data to use for fraudulent purposes, or simply viewing it out of sheer curiosity, which is still a major violation. In a recent case of identity fraud, UMass Memorial Healthcare had to pay $230,000 to settle a lawsuit that resulted from two employees stealing patient information to open credit card and cellular phone accounts. In a truly egregious example from several years ago, an employee of the UCLA Medical Center leaked the late actress Farrah Fawcett’s cancer diagnosis to the National Enquirer before she even had the opportunity to break the news to family and friends herself. These cases are unfortunately not isolated incidents. Shockingly, a recent survey of healthcare workers found that one in five would be willing to sell confidential patient data if given the opportunity.

How to mitigate insider threats

First and foremost, healthcare organizations should institute mandatory background checks on all full-time, part-time and temporary hires – no exceptions. They should also aim to improve employee awareness and understanding of the laws by conducting annual training sessions and refreshers on all relevant data security and privacy regulations, including HIPAA, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) – this last one being especially important for patient billing and contact centers that handle payment card data. There are also several advanced technologies and strategies that an organization can implement to improve its defenses from insider threats, namely:

Establish staff guidelines for patient record access

The best way to avoid an internal compromise of sensitive information is to establish and enforce the principle of least privilege user access (LUA) on all computer systems, which states that an employee should only have the minimum level of access necessary to do their job. For example, an agent in the health system’s contact center may need access to some patient data such as payment or scheduling information, but they may not need to see information about medical history. Creating LUA controls limits unnecessary access and adds a strong, first level of security.

Monitor and flag staff access to patient data

Systems can include various levels of protection, from asking employees to enter password information twice before accessing confidential patient information, to red-flagging abnormal activity. Red-flagging provides an alert to senior staff of suspicious behaviors in the cases where an employee may be accessing large amounts of patient information or performing irregular activities within the network.

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Preventing Medical Billing Cash Flow From Becoming A Flat Line

By Ethan White, MDVision.

From last few years, there have been significant modifications in the rules in addition to guidelines that medical coding and billing firms must achieve. The medical billing vendor that is fully compliant in all under HIPAA are authoritatively business associates of most ideal healthcare clients. This means they never reveal private information, take substantial deterrents with client data, and shield the uprightness of the client.

But another utmost and instantaneous requirement is to influence the company’s profits as to make certain you file the medical claims as rapidly and swiftly as possible. For this determination, you can farm out the situation to a medical billing vendor as they promise to adhere to a strict round-the-clock turnaround for medical claim filing. Also, they have the real strength and aptitude to make available the flexible times for patient queries from outpatient ambulatory surgery centers to large hospitals.

Nonetheless to share your medical billing success story across healthcare landscape, some essentials should be think through in accordance of what’s being said, demonstrated and delivered at any stage:

Medical Bill Repricing Solutions

It is for this reason, the top medical billing vendor companies are certainly in a successful partnership attitude that lay emphasis on prompt, practical and a patron-centric billing approach. The objective ought to provide excellence attention to injured worker’s compensation claims and effectual charge clarifications. It always starts by real-time bill review besides fake finding for self-insured houses, third-party administrators in addition to insurance companies. Such practices prevent excessive payments and endorse an equitable repricing level for reimbursement.

Non-Network Negotiation

The non-network negotiations possibly will continue to establish the average for fair and reasonable reimbursement aimed at medical billing claims. But getting the substantial discounts on non-network claims and to regulate 100 percent in excess of provider sign-off to ease the risk is always an ideal method used by medical billing vendors. The supplementary healthcare cost suppression approach can be used for any other reporting type in delivering fair and equitable money to the paymaster and reasonable payment to the provider as well.

Fragmentation into coordination

An outsourced medical billing claim service means that you have a complete squad of professionals who make sure that your entitlements get treated swiftly and precisely, sendoff your practice minus at risk to interruptions in cash-flow. When a physician confidence the chosen billing service company and works self-possessed with billing prerogative team, they develop long-lasting benefits like.

Monitoring and Analytics

Your days in A/R, or revenue cycle period has a noteworthy impression on your bottom line. A medical billing service mete out their overheads transversely the all-inclusive client based on providing an economy of scale, monitoring and analytics. Thought, such medical billing vendors can have the funds to chartering with the best staff potential, so that you pay a smaller amount for the comparable and frequently complex collection percentages. In addition to the uninterrupted fiscal advantage of greater returns as well as decreased costs.

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Health IT Startup: Intiva Health

Intiva Health LogoIntiva Health is the first truly integrated career platform for healthcare professionals.  It redefines the medical credentialing process by making it faster, more efficient and more secure.

Elevator pitch

Intiva Health provides healthcare professionals with a single place to manage their credentials,continuing education, new job opportunities, secure messaging needs and more. It is built on the Hashgraph digital ledger platform, which means it is faster, more secure, and more error proof than blockchain.

Founders’ story

Intiva Health was founded in 2006 as a staffing agency for surgical services and emergency rooms. Today the Austin, Texas, company it has reinvented itself as a digital health startup featuring a next generation blockchain technology that cuts the time it takes for the medical credentialing process from months to seconds, improves HIPPA compliance,and makes document tampering or theft almost impossible.

Marketing/promotion strategy

Intiva Health focuses its marketing and PR efforts on licensed medical professionals (LMPs), practice managers, and the facilities where they work including medical groups, hospitals and professional associations.The company launched a new brand awareness campaign in March 2018 that includedthe introduction of the Intiva Token, a new cryptocurrency that LMPs can use to purchase continuing education classes, cyber insurance and other services.

Intiva is also partnering with the National Osteoporosis Foundation to test the advantages of using the Intiva Token for charitable donations.

Market opportunity                                                                                    

The Intiva Health Platform automates the burdensome tasks of credential and licensure management, continuing education, and discovering job opportunities for healthcare professionals. Intiva Health’s new ReadyDoc™credential verification solution, built on top of the Hashgraph distributed ledger technology, disrupts the existing broken, slow, and error-prone healthcare credentialing system, which today can take weeks or months to verify credentials, and is subject to tampering.

Intiva believes that ReadyDoc can replace the current processes of credentialing and primary source verification by storing documents and credentials in a Hashgraph-based distributed ledger. Providers and facilities can obtain information that is pre-verified, securely stored, and readily available, creating an ongoing, self-auditing verification of provider work history and clinical reputation.

ReadyDoc will act fluidly between health systems and facilities across the U.S., allowing organizations to instantly verify work history and clinical reputations. In the event of an emergency like the Houston hurricane, facilities will be able staff up by vetting the credentials of qualified providers instantly. ReadyDoc eliminates redundancy and the need for third party verification organizations, letting medical professionals get to work sooner.

Who are your competitors?

We believe that Intiva Health is the first integrative platform to manage healthcare career information from one seamless dashboard. It is certainly the first to use the Hashgraph digital ledger technology and offer a cryptocurrency utility token. However, Doximity also offers a career management application for medical professionals.

How your company differentiates itself from the competition and what differentiates Intiva Health?

Intiva Health can replace the current processes of credentialing and primary source verification by storing documents and credentials in a Hashgraph-based distributed ledger. Providers and facilities can obtain information that is pre-verified, securely stored, and readily available, creating an ongoing,self-auditing verification of provider work history and clinical reputation.

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How to Know If Your Software is HIPAA Compliant

By Abbas Dhilawala, CTO, Galen Data.

Abbas Dhilawala
Abbas Dhilawala

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, was enacted in the United States in 1996. The legislation creates data security and privacy requirements for safeguarding medical information. In recent years, HIPAA compliance has become a hot button issue for software developers in the healthcare space, as a number of high profile data breaches compromised millions of patient records across the country.

If you’re developing an eHealth or mobile health app, it is vital that you determine whether your software could be subject to the requirements of HIPAA for medical software applications. Failure to do so could subject you to thousands or even millions of dollars of liability if the use of your application results in an unauthorized disclosure of health information that is protected under HIPAA. Here’s how to tell whether HIPAA applies to you, and how to know if your software is HIPAA compliant.

Does HIPAA apply to me?

Before you start worrying about compliance with the security and privacy requirements of HIPAA, you should determine whether they can be applied to you and your organization. Both the HIPAA privacy rule and the HIPAA security rule apply to all covered entities under HIPAA, such as health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and healthcare providers. The website for Centers Medicade & Medicaid Service offers a Covered Entity Guidance Tool that can help you determine whether your organization is a covered entity.

HIPAA was expanded in 2009 with the introduction of the HITECH Act and again in 2013 with the HIPAA omnibus rule which clarified the responsibilities of business associates of covered entities when it comes to managing privacy and security of patient records. Further guidance was issued in 2016 indicating that cloud service providers would also be covered by the HIPAA privacy, security and breach notification rules.

Software developers in the healthcare space need to tread carefully here – the original regulations of HIPAA that deal with covered entities probably won’t apply to most organizations creating eHealth or mobile health products, but if your app will manage protected health information and share it with any covered entities, such as health plans or doctors, then HIPAA applies to you and you must comply.

If your software collects protected health information from patients but does not share it with a doctor or another covered entity at any point, the HIPAA rules won’t apply to you and you don’t need to worry about compliance.

Required safeguards for software HIPAA compliance

The available data indicates that while theft of computing hardware was the primary cause of healthcare data breaches in 2017, the greatest vulnerability that was exploited was health IT networks. For software developers, the HIPAA security rule is the most likely potential source of compliance issues. The rule mandates three types of safeguards that protect patient data – administrative, physical, and technical. In creating these safeguards, software developers must establish a secure application where authorized personnel have access to the required patient information while unauthorized persons do not. Patient information must also be protected from alteration or destruction.

Administrative safeguards ensure that software administrators who make have access to the data are acting responsibly. If your software stores medical data, anyone with access to that data must be authorized and trained on the ethical and legal requirements of that access. Administrative safeguards include:

Physical safeguards help to mitigate data breaches by ensuring that only authorized users can access the facilities and machines where protected health information is stored. Physical safeguards include managed policies for:

Technical safeguards present the greatest challenge for software developers building HIPAA-compliant products, as software bugs represent the best opportunity for data attacks against your organization. HIPAA does not detail exactly what firewalls, anti-malware devices or encryption tools should be used to secure your software against a data breach, but it does indicate the need for several types of controls:

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Healthcare’s Most Pressing Problems, According To Its Leaders (Part 1)

Most likely, in one of the few lucid moments you have in your hectic, even chaotic schedule you contemplate healthcare’s greatest problems, its most pressing questions in need of solving, obstacles and the most important hurdles that must be overcome. And how solving these problems might alleviate many of your woes. That’s likely an overstatement. The problems are many, some of the obstacles overwhelming.

There are opportunities, of course. But opportunities often come from problems that must be solved. And, as the saying goes: For everyone you ask, you’re likely to receive a different answer. What must first be addressed? In this series (see part 2 and part 3), we ask. We also examine some of healthcare’s most pressing challenges, according to some of the sector’s most knowledgeable voices.

So, without further delay, the following are some of the problems in need of solutions. Or, in other words, some of healthcare’s greatest opportunities — healthcare’s most pressing questions, problems, hurdles, obstacles, things to overcome? How can they be best addressed?

 Nick Knowlton, VP of strategic initiatives, Brightree

Nick Knowlton
Nick Knowlton

Throughout the healthcare ecosystem, patient-centric interoperability has historically been a huge challenge, specifically throughout post-acute care. This problem results in poor outcomes, unnecessary hospital re-admits, patients not getting the treatment they deserve, excessive cost burden and poor clinician satisfaction. This challenge can be solved through creating better standards, adapting existing interoperability approaches to meet the needs of post-acute care, implementing more scalable interoperable technologies, and involvement with national organizations, such as CommonWell Health Alliance and DirectTrust, amongst others.

Brian Wells, CTO, Merlin International

Cybersecurity is one of the most pressing hurdles in the healthcare industry. The life and death nature of healthcare and the shift to electronic health records (EHR) creates an environment where hackers that successfully deploy ransomware and other cyberattacks can extort large sums of money from healthcare entities and steal highly sensitive data. To address this challenge, healthcare entities need to continue to increase their investment in cybersecurity and focus on improving their overall security posture by implementing tools and processes that will monitor all devices and assess their compliance with security policies; stop phishing attacks; keep all servers patched and current; ensure third party vendors comply with policies; and train employees on proper security hygiene.

Lee Barrett, executive director, Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC)

Lee Barrett
Lee Barrett

Cyberattacks continue to expose the security vulnerabilities of healthcare institutions, keeping many industry stakeholders awake at night. This is why every organization handling protected health information (PHI) needs to build security frameworks and risk sharing into their infrastructure by implementing risk-mitigation strategies, preparedness planning, as well as meet industry standards for adhering to HIPAA requirements. Hospitals and healthcare systems must keep their focus on strategies and tactics that ensure business continuity in the event of an attack as it’s clearly not a matter of if a breach can happen but when.

Margaret J. King, Ph.D., director, the Center for Cultural Studies & Analysis

The core problem for healthcare isn’t science, technology or caregiving intervention. It’s making sure that the systems of delivery and communications are thought through and actually respond to the way patients need and expect healthcare to be delivered. This means it doesn’t matter how advanced and perfected your health system may be — unless it conforms to culture — the way people think and behave — it will do nothing but confuse and frustrate patient needs, which are psychological and social, as well as physical and mental.

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Health IT Startup: Datica

Image result for datica logoThe Datica platform manages all ongoing compliance and security burdens not covered by AWS and Microsoft Azure. Through the platform, customers deploy cloud-native applications and integrate with EHRs. The HITRUST CSF Certified Datica platform services all who handle PHI in the cloud, from startups to the Fortune 100.

Elevator Pitch

Datica removes the risks for digital health in the cloud.

Founders’ story

Travis Good, MD
Travis Good, MD

When CEO Travis Good, MD, and co-founder Mohan Balachandran, began solving healthcare’s universal hurdle in building applications in the cloud — HIPAA — the two entrepreneurs solved the problem. Along the way, they realized that other development companies had also been trying to solve the same problem. They thought: Why should any of us reinvent the wheel? With the compelling market need in front of them, they built their HIPAA-compliant platform and made it available to other development teams, and eventually enterprises. Knowing that trust, security, and compliance would remain the pillars to their platform, the founders sought certifications and audits through HITRUST, SOC 2, and GDPR to make the Datica Platform the most trusted foundation on which to build applications in the cloud.

Marketing/promotion strategy

Datica helps healthcare enterprises and digital health vendors accelerate innovation to improve healthcare through the use of its HIPAA compliant platform. We promote Datica to both market segments through outbound and inbound channels, direct outreach through webinars and local/national presentations around the company’s framework for digital health success, as well as through its podcast, quarterly reports, and executive speaking.

Market opportunity

The market opportunity for the Datica platform is extensive, touching all B2B healthcare stakeholders who store, manage and transmit personal health information in the cloud. Our target audience is 60/40 enterprise (healthcare providers, pharma, and payors), as well as digital health vendors. World-class companies like Johnson & Johnson, Zipnosis, Healthloop, Propeller Health, Methodist Le Bonheur, Stony Brook Medical, Optum and more, trust Datica to remove the risks of digital health in the cloud.

Who are your competitors?

Our largest competitors in the compliant cloud space aren’t other PaaS vendors but rather managed service solutions on one of the major IaaS vendors like Amazon’s AWS or Microsoft’s Azure. With Datica, developers can deploy application workloads to their Datica environment instead of directly to another IaaS to eliminate the burden of compliance. With the Datica Platform, a customer gets the benefits of AWS, Azure, or other infrastructures as the foundation of our platform, plus Datica automates all DevOps and DevSecOps requirements in the cloud. Developers can deploy services & workloads in minutes that are fully in compliance with HIPAA and HITRUST.

How your company differentiates itself from the competition and how Datica differs.

Datica differentiates itself in two ways. The first is through open source resources. Datica has a strong belief in open source resources as the fastest and best way to promote healthcare innovation. Datica open sourced its company policies and resources early in the company life. During HIMSS18, we also announced that the Datica platform now uses Kubernetes (an open source system for automating deployment) as its underlying container orchestration, granting customers greater technical flexibility.

Second, Datica stands apart from other PaaS competitors through its firm commitment to third-party audit and verification of the Platform’s trusted security. Datica is HIPAA compliant, HITRUST CSF Certified and has certifications for SOC 2, GDPR, and GxP.

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HIPAA: A Primer And A Reminder For Those In Healthcare

By Vikash Kumar, manager, Tatvasoft.

A relentless parade of fronts from communication to banking, shopping seems to be unfolded, all thanks to the emerging technology. But somehow healthcare used to stay behind because many of you believed it was too complicated to be fixed. Well, that’s just not true! Now, more than ever, technology has not just succeeded in improving the consumer experience but also has removed the unnecessary cost from the entire healthcare system.

In order to maintain standards of care and improved outcomes for patients, hospitals and medical centers, technology is providing ever-smarter ways like never before. Enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996, HIPAA was introduced because of the increasing need to address growing technological changes and problems. According to the HIPAA Privacy rule, saving, accessing and sharing of medical and personal information is prohibited. Moreover, it specifically outlines national security standards to protect health data created, received, maintained or transmitted electronically (ePHI — electronic protected health information).

Apart from this, there are a few primary components one needs to be concerned with:

Privacy rules emphasize on what qualifies as PHI (protected health information) and who is mainly responsible for ensuring that nothing would get disclosed improperly. It includes covered entities ranging from health plans to health care clearinghouse, health care providers who have the right to transmit any health information electronically regarding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Other than covered entities, privacy rules even encompass of business associates (anyone who stores, collects, maintains, or transmits protected information on behalf of a covered entity).

On the other hand, security rules relate specifically to electronic information and set guidelines for how to secure PHI. Administrative, physical and technical are the three main categories in which it is broken down. As the name implies, administrative revolves around access control and training, physical safeguards are for actual devices, and technical relates to the data itself.

HIPAA Breach Notification Rule is basically a set of standards that covered entities and business associates must follow in the event of a data breach containing PHI and ePHI. This rule, in particular, emphasizes on two kinds of breaches; minor breaches and meaningful breaches. As a result, organizations are required to report all type of breaches, regardless of size to HHS OCR, but the specific protocols for reporting change depending on the type of breach.

Omnibus Rule: This rule was enacted in order to apply HIPAA to business associates, in addition to covered entities. According to the rule, business associates must be HIPAA compliant.

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