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New HIPPA Regulation Applies to Cloud Services Providers

New HIPPA Regulation Applies to Cloud Services Providers

The major driving factors for the health care sector to move to cloud-based platforms is the need to increase storage while reducing costs and the ability to centrally manage patient data. The large amount of data health care providers own and manage can cause huge costs in managing physical machines and storage. The health care sector could get a much higher rate of return on investments from cloud adoption even more so than other industries.

According to a recent Gartner Group study, health care tends to lag behind most other industries in adoption of new technology, but they are part of the growing cloud movement with spending expected to reach an estimated $150 billion annually by 2014. According to another report by research firm Markets and Markets, the cloud computing market in the health care sector is expected to grow to $5.4 billion.

Health care organizations of all sizes adapt to new technology requirements, realizing the great value of the cloud. But many are still concerned about possible security issues and particularly about protected health information.

Health care providers need a simple approach for moving to the cloud, where new solutions have to be implemented quickly, are highly secure, and compliant with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. Among other things, HIPAA regulations are designed to protect the privacy of health care information for individuals.

Three months ago, the new HIPAA-HITECH regulation was released. Officially titled “Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules,” this new regulation modifies HIPAA in accordance with the changes mandated by the HITECH Act of 2009.

The fundamental change involves the vastly expanded scope of HIPAA. The regulation applies the HIPAA Security Rule and parts of the HIPAA Privacy Rule to business associates (BAs). According to the Health and Human Services Department, a BA is any person or entity that, on behalf of a covered entity, “creates, receives, maintains, or transmits protected health information for a function or activity regulated by HIPPA, including claims processing or administration, data analysis, processing or administration, utilization review, quality assurance, patient safety activities, billing, benefit management, practice management, and re-pricing.” When evaluating cloud service providers, health care organizations need be certain that the chosen provider understands existing and changing regulatory requirements. For the cloud service provider, this means they need to understand the regulations that effect both their organization and their customers.

Like many industries, healthcare is not alone in the challenge of quickly and efficiently moving to the cloud. What is needed is a simple, automated solution to migrate to the cloud so they can focus on growing and managing their business.

RiverMeadow Software develops industry-leading SaaS that automates the migration of physical, virtual and cloud based servers (live and as-is) into and between public, private and hybrid clouds. RiverMeadow’s cloud migration SaaS is a rapid cloud migration solution developed specifically for Carrier and Service Provider Cloud IaaS platforms. Without having to install agents or quiesce servers, the RiverMeadow SaaS dramatically reduces the cost and complexity of cloud migration, enabling Carriers and Service Providers to quickly, easily and cost-efficiently deliver the benefits of cloud elasticity to enterprise and SMB customers. For more information contact us at [email protected]

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