The Dollars and Common Sense of PHI Protection

("Reprinted with permission, copyright 2011 ID Experts, All Rights Reserved)

On March 23rd, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in partnership with the Shared Assessments Program announced the launch of a new project to aid organizations in determining the financial impact of disclosure or breach of PHI. The germ of the initiative was an article written last fall by ID Experts President and founder Rick Kam, observing that organizations that are custodians of healthcare data are grappling with how to calculate their risk exposure when PHI is lost or stolen. The article struck a nerve in the industry. By December, experts from eighty-six organizations from the private and public sector had expressed interest in the project, and a working group was formed.

The Dollars and Common Sense of PHI Protection

ANSI is leading the project via its Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel (IDSP) together with the Healthcare Working Group of the Shared Assessments program. The working group includes representatives from data security companies, identity theft protection providers and research organizations, legal experts on privacy and security, standards developers and others. Specific focus areas of the initiative include identifying existing legal protections applying to PHI, defining points of compromise where there are risks of exposure, and assessing the financial affects of disclosure of PHI. The project may also include an industry survey. The project will result in a report targeted at those responsible for protecting and handling PHI.
ID Experts believes that by translating exposure of PHI into financial terms, management and boards will be better able to prioritize investments in protecting patient information. We also hope that the results of this project will help the healthcare industry better understand the impact to the individual when PHI is disclosed, so that organizations can respond faster and more effectively if and when patient information is breached.
You can find out more and track the progress of the working group on the ANSI IDSP web site.

Clearwater Compliance is a Premium Sponsor of the PHI project.

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