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Importance of URAC’s HIPAA Privacy and Security Standards to Protect Personal Health Information is Focus of New Issue Brief

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Washington, D.C. Nov. 3, 2008 – Today URAC released a new issue brief to illuminate changes to its Privacy and Security accreditation standards. The brief, “Cashing in on Personal Health Information: The Importance of URAC HIPAA Standards to Protect Consumer Privacy,” features the expert voice of HIPAA expert Bill Braithwaite, MD, Ph.D., FACMI. Bob Poston III, privacy official for Humana Military Healthcare Service, adds on-the-ground insight into application of URAC’s standards in a rapidly changing technology environment. The issue brief is available at https://www.urac.org/press/issueBriefs.aspx.

URAC, an independent, non-profit accreditation organization, recently made significant revisions to URAC’s “HIPAA Privacy and Security Standards.” URAC revised the standards to emphasize the need for annual workforce training. The revised standards clarify notice of privacy practices to consumers.  URAC also requires organizations to conduct a risk assessment, which must include an analysis of the use of portable media such as USB drives and lap top computers.

In the issue brief, both Braithwaite and Poston noted the value of URAC accreditation to ensure that every employee who comes in contact with personal health information is trained and understands their responsibilities under HIPAA.

“URAC accreditation prepares organizations in multiple ways,” Braithwaite said. “It builds awareness of the basics of HIPAA privacy and security for everyone in the organization. It tailors policies and procedures and ensures everyone is trained in them. And that’s basically what you need to get it right—it’s the concept of learning by doing.”

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