Healthcare News February 2, 2012

  • Availity Achieves HITRUST Certification


    With continuously evolving security regulation in the health care industry, covered entities are facing greater scrutiny and increased challenges in managing and monitoring their security and privacy practices. HITRUST CSF certification helps companies reduce this burden by affirming adherence to an industry-developed and -supported security framework integrated with state and federal regulations, business requirements and industry standards. The CSF cross-references and harmonizes regulations such as those in the HITECH Act, as well as nationally and globally recognized standards such as ISO, NIST, COBIT, HIPAA and PCI. It is used by organizations that create, access, store or exchange protected health and financial information.

    First Certified Health Information Network Relieves Audit Burden for Customers

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Availity has become the first health information network to achieve Common Security Framework (CSF) certification from the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST). Achieving HITRUST CSF certification, the leading security benchmark for health care organizations in the United States, enhances Availity’s ability to lower costs for its customers by reducing their need to conduct costly third-party audits, while at the same time reducing their risk of security and privacy breaches.

    With continuously evolving security regulation in the health care industry, covered entities are facing greater scrutiny and increased challenges in managing and monitoring their security and privacy practices. HITRUST CSF certification helps companies reduce this burden by affirming adherence to an industry-developed and -supported security framework integrated with state and federal regulations, business requirements and industry standards. The CSF cross-references and harmonizes regulations such as those in the HITECH Act, as well as nationally and globally recognized standards such as ISO, NIST, COBIT, HIPAA and PCI. It is used by organizations that create, access, store or exchange protected health and financial information.

    “Our health care business partners and customers quickly recognize the value the HITRUST CSF provides, and respect the rigorous process we undertook to become certified,” said Russ Thomas, Availity’s president and chief operating officer. “Certification removes an administrative burden for Availity and our partners — many of whom would otherwise have no choice but to conduct individual audits.”

    Availity sought expert advisors to guide the company through an aggressively scheduled year-long audit process, partnering with executive advisors at Meditology Services. Most companies require multiple years to reach audit readiness, but Availity’s existing high standards accelerated the process.

    “HITRUST certification effectively tells business partners that Availity takes protecting their clients’ data seriously,” said Chris Hourihan, director at Meditology Services, an Atlanta-based health care IT and risk management firm. “From Availity’s standpoint, that means fewer audits, allowing the company to focus on other things, like helping to reduce the cost of health care nationwide.”

    About Availity, LLC – Patients. Not Paperwork.

    Availity optimizes information exchange between multiple health care stakeholders through a single, secure network. The Availity Health Information Network encompasses administrative, financial, and clinical services, supporting both real-time and batch electronic data interchange (EDI) via the web and through business to business (B2B) integration. For more information, including an online demonstration, please visit www.availity.com or call 1.800.AVAILITY (282.4548).

    Related posts:

    1. Availity Achieves EHNAC 5010 Readiness
    2. Parsons Joins Availity as Chief Financial Officer
    3. Russ Thomas Named Incoming CEO of Availity

  • House votes to repeal healthcare law’s ‘CLASS Act’ program

    The House on Wednesday evening voted to repeal a section of the 2010 health reform law establishing a voluntary, long-term healthcare program that the Obama administration has since said is not financially viable.

    Members voted 267-159 in favor of the bill, H.R. 1173, which repeals the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program. While 28 Democrats joined Republicans in support of the bill, House passage sends the bill to a Democratic Senate that is expected to ignore the bill completely.

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Bye-bye CLASS Act

    House Republicans were on track to easily repeal the healthcare reform law’s long-term-care CLASS Act Wednesday evening, putting on the defensive Democrats who struggled to explain why Congress shouldn’t strike a bill that the Obama administration has said is unworkable.

    The voluntary payroll deduction program isn’t expected to die — the White House is against repeal and the Senate is unlikely to vote for repeal — but Republicans did what they could to peel off Democrats and create momentum for Senate action. One strategy: Painting the program as an obstacle to long-term-care reform. More on that here.

  • Republicans paint health law’s CLASS Act as obstacle to long-term-care reform

    House Republicans on Wednesday urged Democrats to repeal a major provision of the healthcare reform law by painting it as an obstacle to long-term-care reform.

    In floor speeches before the repeal vote Wednesday evening, several GOP lawmakers suggested Democrats were hurting just the people they claim to want to help by clinging on to the CLASS Act. Republicans say the Obama administration has acknowledged the program doesn’t work, and that keeping it on the books merely delays real reform.

    “Let’s repeal the CLASS program,” repeal bill sponsor Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.) said on the House floor. “This will give us impetus to move forward on sensible legislation that will actually solve this problem.

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