The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) affects nearly all companies that regularly transmit or store employee health insurance information, despite the fact that many people believe it only affects health care providers. The original purpose of HIPAA, which was signed into law in 1996, was to protect employee health and insurance information when they changed or lost their jobs. In the mid-1990s, as the internet became more widely used, HIPAA requirements converged with the digital revolution, providing guidance to organizations needing to exchange healthcare data. Any business that exchanges individually identifiable health information is subject to HIPAA regulations.
Healthcare professionals’ collaboration with their colleagues, patients, and employers has become increasingly digital, with e-mail playing an ever-increasing role in this communication. The need for information security and privacy has created an impediment to widespread adoption during this process.
Even organizations that are not in the healthcare industry must now consider the regulatory compliance requirements associated with HIPAA, in addition to the usual concerns about privacy and security of e-mail correspondence. HIPAA’s Administrative Simplification section, which mandates, among other things, the privacy and security of Protected Health Information (PHI), has sparked debate about how PHI-containing e-mail should be handled in the workplace. In terms of e-mail security, HIPAA is enforcement of otherwise well-known best practices, such as:
Assuring the security of e-mail messages containing PHI when sent over an unprotected link
Ensure that e-mail systems and users are properly authenticated in order to prevent PHI from falling into the wrong hands.
Protecting PHI-containing e-mail servers and message stores
HIPAA-regulated businesses must comply with the law and implement these procedures. The healthcare industry, on the other hand, is under pressure to improve its use of technology and “catch up” with other industries of similar size and scope due to the need to comply with regulations.
The healthcare industry faces a significant compliance challenge as a result of HIPAA’s privacy protection provisions. These provisions are designed to protect patients’ personally identifiable health information from being disclosed. For each instance of unauthorized disclosure, organizations that fail to protect this information face fines ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 in fines. If the disclosure was made on purpose, HIPAA imposes fines ranging from $100,000 to $250,000, as well as the possibility of jail time for those who violated the law.
As part of HIPAA, a new security rule focusing solely on PHI stored and transmitted electronically will be enforced beginning April 21, 2005. People asked What Are 3 Major Things Addressed In The HIPAA Law? This rule’s requirements, which are essentially information security best practices, focus on the three cornerstones of a solid information security infrastructure: confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.
PHI transmission, storage, and discoverability are all covered by the upcoming HIPAA regulatory requirements. E-mail security has never been more important to the healthcare industry than it is right now, given the widespread use and importance of e-mail, the enforcement of HIPAA encryption policies, and the growing demand for secure e-mail solutions.
When it comes to protecting PHI that is transmitted and stored via e-mail, IronMail makes a significant contribution to compliance with HIPAA privacy and security requirements. The IronMail solution includes everything from data encryption to firewall and intrusion protection to content filtering. IronMail can be used to protect e-mail going into and out of corporate networks once it is installed.
Because IronMail is a standards-based appliance, it can be seamlessly integrated into any existing e-mail system, without the need for extensive IT staff training or requiring users to take additional steps to perform e-mail functions.
From security management processes to access control to data integrity, the IronMail appliance is designed to help organizations comply with HIPAA’s stringent new guidelines.
Many businesses regard HIPAA compliance as a prohibitively expensive barrier to overcome. Furthermore, the increasing reliance on e-mail as a mission-critical application necessitates a high level of security and privacy. Improved security, as well as HIPAA readiness and ongoing adherence, can be achieved with a solid combination of security policies and technologies to enforce those policies. Organizations can improve patient relationships, increase the quality of careFree Articles, and improve the bottom line by reducing information complexities and associated management costs with IronMail. E-mail can be a safe and secure medium.