The Security Scrutinizer with Howard Anderson

Time to Speak Up on Privacy, Security

Federal Health Policy Advisers Are Soliciting Advice
Time to Speak Up on Privacy, Security

Two panels advising regulators are looking for input on important issues that affect the privacy and security of electronic health records. But you only have a few days to make your views known, so don't delay.

The privacy and security tiger team that's advising regulators about health information exchange issues is seeking comments on how to authenticate organizations exchanging EHRs. The group is accepting comments through Oct. 29.

But before the HHS publishes new rules or regulations, why not take advantage of the opportunity to make your opinions known? 

In addition, a governance workgroup, which is pondering how to provide oversight of health information exchanges that share electronic health records using national standards, is seeking comments on whether an existing organization could handle the governance role. Those comments are due Nov. 3.

The tiger team, which has been tackling a long list of privacy and security issues related to the exchange of electronic health records, soon will make a recommendation on how best to verify the identity of a provider organization, such as a hospital or physician practice, seeking access to protected health information through a health information exchange.

Meanwhile, the governance workgroup is preparing recommendations for establishing an oversight body to offer some sort of a "seal of approval" that health information exchanges sharing data nationally are appropriately using National Health Information Network standards, including those for privacy and security. Among the issues the workgroup is tackling is whether to create a new governance group or leverage an existing organization.

Next year, federal regulators plan to issue a proposed rule for governance of organizations that use the NHIN standards, also referred to as NW-HIN, as required under the HITECH Act.

Ultimately, the Department of Health and Human Services will determine how to use the recommendations of the two panels, which first must be approved by the Health IT Policy Committee, in new rules and regulations.

But before the HHS publishes new rules or regulations, why not take advantage of the opportunity to make your opinions known?



About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

News Editor, ISMG

Anderson is news editor of Information Security Media Group and was founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.




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