OCR has established privacy advisors in each of its regional offices to provide HIPAA privacy and security guidance and education. HITECH required the HHS secretary to designate an individual in each of its regional offices.
Don't wait for OCR to publish all the HITECH implementation rules before taking action, Apgar said during "Business Associate Action Plan: Comply with HITECH by February Deadline," a recent HCPro audio conference.
On August 19, 2009, HHS released its interim final rule on breach notification of unsecure protected health information (PHI) and the acceptable methods for covered entities (CE) and business associates (BA) to encrypt and destroy patient records to prevent breaches.
Booz Allen Hamilton, a McLean, VA–based firm that was commissioned in 2008 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to research medical identity theft in the United States, says all facilities can adopt the following strategies:
SenditCertified offers a unique solution: It supports the encryption of transmitted PHI that meets National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards. SenditCertified also supports other security safeguards and provides practical tools to assist in avoiding a breach of PHI, as well as related business tools.