Posts

blur pharmacy drugstore with pharmacist background
Most healthcare organizations have started to embrace the numerous benefits of cloud computing as a doc storage platform. Among many, the benefits include its flexibility, cost-efficiency, and scalability. While cloud computing gives the benefit of convenient, easy sharing, and simple file storage, the risks related to security are abundant enough to bring an escalation to the Cloud Access Security Broker category.

Nonetheless, before employing a solution, it is vital to comprehend how industry regulations and procedures can have an impact on cloud adoption. Not just that, it is imperative to realize the necessary attributes when choosing a service provider for your cloud storage needs. In the healthcare sector, the major deciding element is HIPAA-HITECH compliance.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will not suggest specific tools or methods regarding how to protect your data. However, encryption is encouraged to be used as a regular practice.

Why Does HIPAA Apply To Cloud Storage?

HIPAA was passed in 1996 with the objective of guarding the confidentiality and discretion of complex patient information. Protected entities under this act include healthcare policies, health care establishments and specific kinds of healthcare providers. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) included a notification obligation. Covered business associates and entities must inform OCR when a breach of unsafe PHI affects above 500 individuals.

We have taken the time to compile the top five HIPAA compliant cloud storage services deemed most popular. These doc storage platforms can also be a great way to take care of your bookkeeping obligations.

Dropbox (Business)

In November 2015, Dropbox stated their approval of the HIPAA and HITECH Act submission. Now, the company offers BAAs (Business Associate Agreement) to their Dropbox business clients. Organizational controls take account of removal and review of user activity accounts, user access linked devices, and permit two-step verification.

The Dropbox Business version comes out to be $12.50 per user, per month. It provides file recovery and unlimited storage, system alerts, innovative collaboration tools, granular permissions, and Office 365 incorporation.

Box

Box made the addition of HIPAA/HITECH compliance in 2013. Since then, Box has been enthusiastically promoting themselves to the healthcare sectors and customers. BAAs are offered for enterprise versions. Among the various features are granular file approvals, access monitoring, audits, and reporting trails for content and users.

Among others, Box integrations also offers Google, Salesforce, DocuSign and Office 365. Not only that, Box also permits DICOM files to be securely viewed (DICOM files are for ultrasounds, X-rays and CT scans) as well as securely sharing information by a direct messaging procedure.

Google Drive

Another doc storage platform is Google Drive. Google provides a BAA for their customers of Google Apps for Work. Apps consist of Forms, Slides, Sheets and Docs in addition to quite a lot of other facilities like Gmail. Organizational controls take account of file-sharing consents, audits, app activity and account activity tracking.

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft has also shown its support towards HIPAA/HITECH through providing BAAs towards their enterprise cloud computing services. Microsoft has some of the greatest security practice policies in the field. These security practice policies are most forceful and tough at the Enterprise E5 level. It will cost about $35 per month, per user.

Carbonite

Carbonite offers BAAs for their Office customers. Safety measure consist of offsite standby for disaster retrieval and compliance with the MDSR (Massachusetts Data Security Regulation). The company declares that it is extensively acknowledged and recognized as the best rigorous data security in the entire country.


Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

HIPAA Compliance Icon Medical Graphic
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a legislation of the United States that ensures data security of all medical information for individuals. 

Today, the top healthcare organizations’ concern is compliance with HIPAA (Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). HIPAA rules are meant to secure protected health information (PHI), whether electronic or manual. In order to achieve HIPAA compliance, healthcare institutes and professionals must follow guidelines that will ensure the security and protection of their patients. If you are not sure about the rules, engage the Chief Information Security Office for review.

HIPAA Compliant – A Checklist

HIPAA rules and regulations have changed over the years causing healthcare organizations to face many challenges. Its complex language has often created a hindrance which makes it hard for organizations to determine if their activities are maintained properly according to HIPAA compliance. Healthcare organizations must address some specific rules by HIPAA, which are as follows:

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule
  • HIPAA Security Rule
  • HIPAA Enforcement Rule
  • HIPAA Breach Notification Rule

HIPAA Privacy Rule

The HIPAA Privacy rule ensures that an individual’s healthcare information is properly protected, which inclues all medical records and personal information (healthcare plans, insurance, and financial). The goal is to provide security while allowing secure access to healthcare practitioners, but not without a patient’s authorization. The rule is to balance the disclosure of information and protect the privacy of an individual. According to the HIPAA Privacy Rule, patients have full rights over their medical information, which means they can obtain their medical records or request a correction.

HIPAA Security Rule

The HIPAA Security Rule has set the national principles to safeguard electronic health information of an individual as declared under the privacy rule. The Security Rule ensures the reliability, security, and confidentiality of the electronic PHI. Three types of safety measures fall under HIPAA Security Rule: Physical protection, Technical protection, Administrative protection.

Physical Protection

Limited Access to Facility – The organization must limit the physical access to its amenities and ensure that only authorized personnel are allowed in the facility.

Workstation security – The organization must implement strict policies and procedures for the use of electronic devices at the workstation. A covered entity must record all activities of hardware including people responsible for transferring or moving data.

Technical Protection

Access Control – The organization must allow only authorized personnel to access electronic PHI. Any removal of e-PHI from the system must be examined ensuring that it is properly altered or destroyed.

Audit Control – All hardware and software activities must be recorded and examined ensuring that there is no data theft or misuse of the information. It is the organization’s responsibility that only authorized people have access to the information.

Administrative Protection

Security Officials – The organization must entitle a security official for implementing policies and procedures.

Training Management – The organization must train all of its employees and brief them on the security measures of e-PHI and consequences of violating any policies and procedures.

Assessment – The organization is responsible to assess all its security measures and how well they are being followed. Organizations must be consistent with the rules by limiting disclosure of e-PHI to a minimum. Only authorized personnel should have access to the information.

HIPAA Enforcement Rule

The HIPAA Enforcement Rule requires enforcement of the Privacy Rule by all healthcare organizations. If any organization fails to comply with HIPAA, they must face penalties. There are several ways the OCR implements the Privacy and Security Rules:

  • Investigation of complaints
  • Determining whether healthcare organizations are in compliance with HIPAA
  • Educate organizations and provide substitute compliance if required

HIPAA Breach Notification Rule

Any organization that allows disclosure of healthcare information without authorization, under any circumstances, will be convicted of violating HIPAA rules. If the organization discovers a breach of information, they must notify the secretary right away.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.