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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

HIPAA: The Application and Challenges of Implementing Healthcare Information Technology

by Eric Kolman
May 2007

1. Introduction
2. Overview: Key Terms
3. Overview: What is HIPAA?
3.1. Title I
3.2. Title II
4. Review of Technology
5. Issues with Technology
5.1 Implementation status of clinical IT
6. Case Study: HIPAA Compliance Survey Results, Winter 2006
7. Conclusion
8. References


The Healthcare Industry has been undergoing radical transformations and has been rapidly changing to adopt information technology solutions to meet the challenges of regulatory burdens, cost reduction, and patient care. A few examples of the solutions being implemented are computerized physician order entry initiatives (CPOE), electronic medical records (EMR), and electronic claims processing. A recently study has shown that healthcare providers in the United States will increase IT spending from $15.1 billion in 2002 to $17.3 billion in 2007 (Rotbert Law Group).The demand for healthcare technology has significantly increased and has created remarkable opportunities for health care solution providers. The expanding use of IT though has also created numerous challenges for organizations. As information in the healthcare industry moves to becoming completely electronic, privacy and security concerns are increasing. The foremost concerns hospitals and healthcare systems face are protecting the patients’ information and making sure it is secure and preventing people from accessing the information who should not have access. Healthcare organizations look to IT to help them solve this problem but fulfilling the promise of technology is an ongoing and daunting task due to limited budgets, the need for legacy system migration and new technology insertion. A regulatory framework has been put into place in order to respond to these rising concerns. Part of this regulatory framework is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, otherwise known as HIPAA. Health plans and health care providers who transmit health information in electronic form must be in compliance with HIPAA or face the possibility of significant fines or even jail time.

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