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HIPAA Security Technical Standards

Posted in Compliances (1300),Policies - Standards (600),Security (1500) by Guest on the May 16th, 2014

Compliance Deadlines

The security series of papers will provide guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the rule titled “Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Protected Health Information,” found at 45 CFR Part 160 and Part 164, Subparts A and C, commonly known as the Security Rule. The Security Rule was adopted to implement provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The series will contain seven papers, each focused on a specific topic related to the Security Rule. The papers, which cover the topics listed to the left, are designed to give HIPAA covered entities insight into the Security Rule, and assistance with implementation of the security standards. This series explains specific requirements, the thought process behind those requirements, and possible ways to address the provisions. 

Technical safeguards are becoming increasingly more important due to technology advancements in the health care industry. As technology improves, new security challenges emerge. Healthcare organizations are faced with the challenge of protecting electronic protected health information (EPHI), such as electronic health records, from various internal and external risks. To reduce risks to EPHI, covered entities must implement technical safeguards. Implementation of the Technical Safeguards standards represent good business practices for technology and associated technical policies and procedures within a covered entity.  It is important, and therefore required by the Security Rule, for a covered entity to comply with the Technical Safeguard standards and certain implementation specifications; a covered entity may use any security measures that allow it to reasonably and appropriately do so. 

The objectives of this paper are to:

  • Review each Technical Safeguards standard and implementation specification listed in the Security Rule.
  • Discuss the purpose for each standard.
  • Provide sample questions that covered entities may want to consider when implementing the Technical Safeguards.

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