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March 2010

Is HITECH Act a game changer?

Health care organizations have had to comply with HIPAA's security and privacy requirements for several years now, but compliance depended on who you talked to. Some companies took the regulation very seriously and worked hard to secure protected health information (PHI). For others, security was far down on the list of priorities, if on the list at all. But how could you blame them? The requirements aren't specific and there was little enforcement to speak of. The HITECH Act aims to change that that with its increased penalties for HIPAA non-compliance and broader enforcement. But will it really be a game changer and increase information security in the health care industry? It's critical that more health care organizations make an effort to protect sensitive health information. A breach that exposes a patient's confidential data could have serious and lasting consequences. As Khalid Kark, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research points out, health care records aren't like credit cards, which can be cancelled ...

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