ONC Emphasizes Interoperability in IT Privacy, Security Guide Update

April 13, 2015 in News

On Monday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT updated its IT privacy and security guide for providers, marking the first revision since 2011, FierceHealthIT reports (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 4/13).

Guide Details

In a blog post, ONC Chief Privacy Officer Lucia Savage said the update is part of efforts outlined in the agency’s interoperability roadmap and its goal of improving the industry’s understanding of how security regulations can improve interoperability (Savage, “Health IT Buzz,” 4/13).

According to FierceHealthIT, the updated Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information reflects changes in the health care industry and includes information on:

  • HIPAA privacy and security and breach notification rules; and
  • The meaningful use program.

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

For example, the revised guide:

  • Details how HIPAA privacy rules apply to practices, and includes rules for the use and disclosure of private health data;
  • Explains who qualifies as a business associate and ways they must comply with HIPAA regulations;
  • Identifies core objectives for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program; and
  • Outlines an approach consisting of seven steps for providers seeking to create a security management process (FierceHealthIT, 4/13).
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