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HITECH is here. Is your organization compliant??

If you are a healthcare provider or if your organization does work for a healthcare provider that involves medical records, now is the time to make sure you are complying with HIPAA regulations and with HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) compliance, which went into effect in 2011.

The federal government is using incentives and penalties to speed adoption of electronic medical records with the ultimate goal of reducing healthcare costs and improving patient outcomes. Most importantly, HIPAA noncompliance penalties can range from $50,000 to $1.5 million. HITECH penalties will reduce Medicare reimbursements for noncompliance by 33 percent in 2015; 66 percent in 2016; and 100 percent in 2017.

Ensuring security at all levels

Healthcare providers are responsible for their own compliance and for the compliance of anyone with whom they share electronic records. That means other healthcare providers like pharmacies and business service providers like billers must comply with appropriate safety regulations.

Electronic storage and transmission of protected health information (PHI) promises unprecedented accessibility and efficiency. At the same time it increases the need for safeguards to protect patient information. Plante Moran has a team of specialists in information security that can help you comply with current regulations and prepare for the major changes planned for next year.

In anticipation of the changes that HITECH will bring, our information security specialists can help you define, manage, and enforce policies to effectively control the flow of information between systems both internally and externally. You can depend on them to help with both delivery-based and content-based policies. And they can help you develop procedures that secure the data whether it is being transmitted or stored.

Preparing for the change

Our specialists have a full range of experience helping clients comply with information security requirements. You might find our gap analysis is a good way of preparing for the demands of HITECH. A gap analysis will document where your security strengths and weaknesses are now and then make suggestions about what your organization needs to do to improve their processes and controls to meet the new requirements.

The ability to document where you are now and your progress toward a complete electronic information exchange will be important as your organization begins to demonstrate “meaningful use” — a measurement created by HITECH to monitor the progress of organizations over the next five years. You can be assured our technology consultants have the skills to help you comply with HITECH. And we guarantee you’ll be satisfied with our service.

“Plante Moran understands the meaning of partnership; they come in the door understanding your business, they work with you to get you to your desired outcome, and then deliver on their promises. What more can you ask from a partner?”

Dan Rainey, Director of Information Technology
City of Ann Arbor, MI