What is Meaningful Use and How Does it Relate To HIPAA and HITECH?

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Healthcare data and privacy have been a priority for lawmakers and IT professionals for decades. Maintaining privacy related to health information, and giving ownership and agency over disclosure to patients, drives current regulations around Personal Health Information (PHI). The most important of these regulations, HIPAA, has undergone various changes and revisions over time to meet modern security demands. One of these changes, the implementation of HITECH and digital record keeping, includes several additional rules on managing digital health records, including the concept of “meaningful use.”

Here, we will discuss what it means when HITECH legal language encourages the meaningful use of health records and how that can impact compliance and security. 

 

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What is HITECH and, How Does it Relate to HIPAA Compliance?

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HIPAA is a detailed and comprehensive set of regulations governing IT systems and data handling in the healthcare industry. As times change, so too has the language of HIPAA evolved to address those changes. One of these updates is the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. This law modernized HIPAA and directed entities in healthcare to adopt more modern, digital record keeping and security technologies. 

Here, we’ll cover some of the basics of HITECH and what it changed in the language of HIPAA. 

 

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What is NIST SP 800-171 and What Role Does it Play in Defense Contracting Compliance?

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The document library of the NIST website can be daunting and seemingly endless in terms of the various frameworks, controls and requirements that it provides. The 800 series, in particular, while important and, in many cases, necessary, is also hard to penetrate if you don’t already have some knowledge of what it contains. This can provide a challenge for organizations working with the DoD supply chain, especially those handling classified or sensitive material. 

In this article, we’ll cover one of these publications: NIST 800-171. This document defines security for a specific form of government information that many contractors under the executive or defense departments: CUI. While important on its own, this document also informs several important security frameworks, namely CMMC.

 

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