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New NIST tool helps organizations meet HIPAA requirements

A new tool, developed by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and offered for free, can help public and private organizations, large and small, to understand and implement the requirements of the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule.

‘Covered entities’ and business associates are required to follow the HIPAA Security Rule. Such entities include government agencies involved in health records, health care providers, health plans such as health insurance issuers and Medicaid and Medicare programs, health care clearinghouses and Medicare prescription drug card sponsors.

The NIST HIPAA Security Rule Toolkit is intended to be a resource that organizations can use to support their risk assessment processes by identifying areas where security safeguards may be needed to protect EPHI, or where existing security safeguards may need to be improved. The self-assessment tool presents a series of questions in groups related to each of the HIPAA Security Rule standards and implementation specifications.

For simplicity, the toolkit follows the established HIPAA structure of administrative, physical and technical safeguards, organizational requirements, and policies, procedures and documentation requirements.

The toolkit comes with a comprehensive User Guide and a self-contained, stand-alone software application that can run on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. It is available at http://scap.nist.gov/hipaa

•Date: 23rd November 2011 • Region: US •Type: Article • Topic: ISM

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