Is Your PHI Data Safe?

August 5, 2015

Here are four easy ways to mitigate the costly risks associated with HIPAA PHI Data.

If you handle healthcare data, you’re most likely very intimate with HIPAA and the Privacy Rule. If not (or not enough), you’re vulnerable to costly penalties ranging from $100 to $50,000 per year, and could face jail time (depending on the severity of the breach).

These penalties can be avoided with some simple steps, but let’s start with the basics.
A law introduced in 1996 works to ensure PHI (personal health information) is safeguarded. It’s called HIPAA, or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and although PHI is just one of the laws driving the healthcare transformation, it’s the most important.

Four ways you (and your company) can avoid data breaches:

  • Invest in privacy screens. Any employee working with PHI data in an open, common area, or where someone could look over their shoulder and read their monitor, should have a privacy screen. Simple and effective.
  • Implement role-based access. Ensure that the employees that come in contact with PHI data in fact have the right to view that data. Also consider a logging feature that shows who accessed the data and when, which becomes especially important if you have outside users that can access the data (client installs, VPN and/or RDP access, etc.).
  • Encrypting your “data in motion.” You’re using sFTP or FTPs if you’re doing business with any of the large insurance carriers. But, there are other secure communications methods you may have not considered, like AS2 with SSL encryption, as well as secure web service communications.
  • Encrypting your “data at rest.” If you’re storing PHI data in your database, make sure it’s encrypted. Encryption allows for data to be scrambled within your database, with simple decryption through a key-driven method.

If you have questions about how to safeguard your data, call one of our EDI Experts at 877-334-9650 or email us at sales@1edisource.com.

We have a great deal of clients faced with these challenges and we look forward to helping you, too.

Contact Us Today!