Emergence of HITECH and Its Clauses
In simple terms, HITECH is nothing but HIPAA made strict and strong. HIPAA known as the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was established 1996. Every health organization has to
adhere to it. This was introduced to safeguard health insurance rights of workers.
Concerns with HIPAA
The problem with HIPAA compliance was the broad interpretation taken by multiple insurers and
healthcare providers. This resulted in unstable adoption amongst providers. People were unsure of their
being compliant or not. The requirements were far from being specific, and enforcements were very less.
The advent of HITECH
HITECH, known as Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was passed in
2009 making significant changes to HIPAA. This act also provides incentives for using electronic health
records.It broadens the scope of privacy and security protection available under HIPAA and at the same
time the legal liability and penalty for non-compliance has been raised; notification standards made
stricter, and the enforcement tightened. Furthermore, it has also modified by the liabilities and
accountabilities of Business Associates.
According to HITECH, a security breach is an unapproved access, acquisition, disclosure or use of
secured health data. It compromises the privacy of the secure health information barring the case where
an unauthorized individual to whom such data is revealed would not reasonably have been able to retain
Going by this, any security breach that discloses a patient’s confidential information would be subjected to
serious consequences. Credit card details once revealed can be cancelled or modified but this is not so
with health care records, thus the need for rigid security standards.
How to be HITECH and HIPAA compliant?
Complying with HIPAA and HITECH might seem time consuming and a tedious process. Companies
involved in compliance management solutions have made this task simpler. They provide their users with
solutions that require no investments on hardware or software. It can be implemented fast and users
need not fret over any back up requirements or technical assistance, thereby enjoying all the services of
advanced compliance management solutions. It comprises an in-built HIPAA and HITECH support that
can be expanded easily and is updated automatically.
Further, compliance management solution also offer the required risk analysis and compliance reports.
This is needed for representing the desired level of meaningful use so that covered entities can get
reimbursements from the federal government.
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