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HITECH Act Compliance is a Team Sport:  Is your team HITECH ready?

 September 2010 Issue No. 14
In This Issue
HITECH Ready Business Associate Contract Now Available in the HSG Store
Healthcare for the 21st Century, it's the architecture stupid
Featured Article
This month's featured article is entitled Healthcare for the 21st Century, it's the architecture stupid).

This article discusses a notion that has heretofore been mostly foreign to health information technology ("HIT") professionals let alone to healthcare executives.

The HITECH Act has engendered significant discussion regarding "interoperability." However the latter term is a concept that is critically dependent on the healthcare architecture that underpins it. Therefore, this article takes a broad look at the importance of architecture within healthcare and highlights the business significance of healthcare architecture to an organization's competitive advantage (large or small).

It should be clear by now to even casual observers of the U.S. healthcare industry that it is quickly evolving into something radically different than the status quo. In fact, it is no understatement to suggest that the disruption occurring within the industry is a tsunami of sorts, one that has far reaching implications. Although healthcare architecture is not a buzz word that you are accustomed to hearing, it will be.

Remember you read it here first. Also remember that there can be no meaningful discussion of healthcare architecture without including privacy and security in "virtually the same breadth."
HITECH Switch OnHITECH Ready Business Associate Contract & Compliance Roadmaps now available in the HSG Store.
Business Associate Agreement: a HITECH Ready Model Contract

The HIPAA regulations and the HITECH Act mandate that a CE establish a written contract with a BA in a number of instances, including whenever a BA "manages" PHI on behalf of a CE.

Our Model Contract includes provisions that meet the requirements of HIPAA/HITECH and is fully annotated with links, where appropriate, to the relevant statutory/regulatory authority that underpins each Contract clause.

The Contract package also includes a complete "User's Guide," with a clause-by-clause explanation of the issues addressed in the Contract. It can be used, with minor modifications, out-of-the-box, or as an educational tool to draft a customized version.

Buy Now...

The Security Rule Under HITECH:
a Business Associate Perspective
First Edition

The most important step for building a "good SR compliance story" is for the business associate to get started. The approach recommended herein is to build the story iteratively over time. Most business associates (large or small) will likely need help in creating the story. Getting started in the wrong direction initially could be far more costly in the long run, since much of the compliance budget may simply be wasted. The framework discussed throughout this document provides a good road map to follow.

Buy Now...

HIPAA Survival Guide Third Edition

The Third Edition of the HIPAA Survival Guide updates various substantive text of the first two editions and adds completely new material. The HITECH Act has indeed proven to be transformational. In order to deal more effectively with its changing regulatory landscape we have decided to release an updated version available here and on Amazon's Kindle platform.

Buy Now...

Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Interested in staying current on HITECH / HIPAA compliance issues? Click the "join our list" link above and receive your own copy of the newsletter on the first business day of each month.

Also, if you are interested in "jumpstarting" your compliance efforts then check out the HSG Store. Also, If you need to compare EHR software offerings click here and if you need a HITECH compliant data backup checklist click here.

Finally, interested in reducing costs and delivering more value to your patients then check out Info-Surge's patient engagement portal.
Other Resources

DBLG Logo White
Dear Carlos,

Welcome to the September 2010 HITECH / HIPAA Compliance Newsletter. The featured article this month is entitled: "Heathcare for the 21st Century, it's the architecture stupid." This article presents an overview of the importance of healthcare architecture vis-a-vis an  EHR implementation, and the corresponding privacy and security challenges under HITECH.

As we have often stated, HITECH transforms HIPAA from a paper tiger into a regulatory scheme with real teeth (some might say fangs), and that makes all the difference in the world  regarding healthcare architecture, as it does with respect to all aspects of an EHR  implementation. Not only are covered entities now subject to potentially onerous legal liability, most covered entities do not yet fully understand the scope of HITECH, and are therefore legally exposed without even a minimal understanding of the potential extent of same.

 In short, your healthcare architecture is only as good as its weakest link.
Given the breadth of access devices that will eventually integrate into an EHR, the privacy and security issues surrounding healthcare architecture must be considered up front, and not as an "oh by the way afterthought," to be bolted on after the fact. Covered entitles that take the latter approach will find that building a "good compliance story" is much more painful and expensive than it otherwise would be if a coherent approach is adopted early on.

HITECH / HIPAA Newsletter

HSG Announcements
HITECH Survival Guide

We are now actively promoting what we believe to be is the best of breed compliance tracking system ("CTS") on the market. We performed a significant amount of due diligence over the last couple of years and this is the one solution that is clearly ahead of the pack and economically priced to be within the reach of even the smallest covered entities and business associates. To see a demo of the product click here.

We are also pleased to announce the availability of our Breach Notification Framework. Section 13402 of the HITECH Act requires that HIPAA covered entities and their business associates provide various notifications following a breach of unsecured protected health information. Our Breach Notification Framework offers guidance for complying with HITECH's Breach Notification requirements.

Our EHR Library remains one of our most popular downloads. Here you will find content that will help you select the right EHR package for your practice or facility.
Contract DraftingWe continue to be excited regarding the marketplace feedback of our Business Associate Agreement: a HITECH Ready Model Contract (Buy Now). 

The HIPAA regulations and the HITECH Act mandate that a CE establish a written contract with a BA in a number of instances, including whenever a BA "manages" PHI on behalf of a CE. Our Model Contract includes provisions that meet the requirements of HIPAA/HITECH and is fully annotated with links, where appropriate, to the relevant statutory/regulatory authority that underpins each Contract clause. 

Our Model Business Associate Contract, Roadmaps, and other offeringsare now available in the HSG Store

Stay Connected
Want to stay updated throughout the month then follow Debbie on Twitter by clicking on the badge below.  If you would like to read more regarding the authors' views on HIT and compliance click here and here and subscribe to their blogs.


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Follow us on FaceBook by becoming a fan of the guide and support the HSG by purchasing some HSG Wearables. Also, be sure to check out our HITECH Videos.

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HSG is now welcoming advertisersto help support one of the most comprehensive and usable HITECH / HIPAA sites on the Internet. Our audience continues to grow as healthcare providers, both large and small, return to HSG again and again.

HITECH Survival Guide Wordle  
Healthcare for the 21st Century, it's the architecture stupid
Webtones PointerArchitecture is the stuff of the wires. That buzz you hear is the sound of imagination in motion. It is not merely science or technology. Architecture is the sound of builders collaborating. It is the convergence of design, form, craft, media, software, and (yes) healthcare. It is the creation of n-dimensional living and breathing info-spaces. Wired healthcare communities will be linked via electronic boulevards into virtual healthcare cities. Architecture is art and meaning. Without it, the techno-babble makes no sense. The wires are whispering, and if you listen closely, you will hear the songs that they are singing. They are the songs of healthcare in the 21st century.

Healthcare Architecture

What is healthcare architecture? My "elevator pitch" answer to this question goes something like this: "architecture concerns itself with making sure that the various parts of a complex system (e.g. healthcare interoperability) work well together." Huh? In short, the question is not an easy, or straightforward, one to answer. We have a 2000-year history of architecture as it relates to the built world, and still the general public has only a vague understanding of its first principles. In the healthcare universe, at least with respect to anything that could be called healthcare interoperability, we have, at most, a very short history indeed (especially in the U.S.) Therefore, it should come as no surprise that even practitioners within the healthcare information technology industry are confused when the word is used.

I would like to propose the following succinct description (as opposed to a definition) of healthcare architecture:
Healthcare architecture relates to constructs required to ensure that the parts of a complex healthcare system work together in a coherent manner. These constructs must ensure that the system scales, and that it continues to function, even though individual components fail.
While not defining healthcare architecture, the above paragraph nonetheless captures the essence of its meaning.


About Us
HITECH Puzzles We help companies safely and securely do business on the web, in accordance with applicable law. How? By helping them reduce risk. Privacy and security compliance issues are merely a subset of legal issues that online businesses face. This is equally true for eCommerce sites as it is for healthcare providers, facilities, and vendors.

We take a partnering and collaborative approach in our legal practice. If you would like to see specific topics covered in this newsletter then please let us know.

Carlos Leyva
Managing Shareholder
The Digital Business Law Group, P.A.


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