HIPAA - Business Opportunities

Posted by Health Entrepreneur 02/03/2016

Every problem gives a cope for developing an idea for starting a new business or a new technologies or devices. This new technology and devices has increased tremendously, with the implementation of the Final Omnibus Rule. With this increase in technologies HIPAA has opened a opportunity galore for health entrepreneurs.


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HIPAA- Opportunities Galore


“Necessity is the mother of all invention”, but in the business world, it says “With every problem comes scope for new business”. The scope of new technology and devices has increased tremendously, with the implementation of the Final Omnibus Rule.


1. Electronic Health Records (EHR)


The EHRs are becoming more and more a standard in health care organizations. These are the electronic forms that help to capture patient-related health data. The integral process of an EHR requires encipherment of the sensitive health records to chaperon it from unauthorized access. Apart from ciphering of at least 128 bit, the usage of other data security setups like firewall and log management systems also may be helpful to restrict the unauthorized access. Auditing of the systems for risk analysis can also be implemented. After the implementation of the HITECH Act, the protocols for the EHR developers have been upgraded, and the focus is more on the development of new stark encryption technologies.


2. Smart Cards

Smart Cards are amongst the unique and whiz innovations of the modern world. They are considered as the utmost trusted tools for safekeeping of the sensitive health records. Nowadays, with the rising urgency for heightened data security the smart cards are becoming “in vogue”. The smart cards are rated according to their level of intricacy and data immunity provided by it. The smart cards are helpful for providing absolutely controlled authorized data accession and authenticated access to the network.


The HIPAA Act has unlocked a vast scope for the new IT companies to provide efficient smart cards for the healthcare organizations for secure data storage.


3. Healthcare Analytics


With time, the healthcare sector in not limited to the healthcare providers, but it has extended to many innovative businesses. The healthcare analytics is one such new field which can provide an improved assistance to the healthcare provider for handling the diverse patients more efficiently.  


Accompanying the implementation of “Affordable Care Act” in 2010, the predicament of the healthcare providers has increased. So, to reduce the burden of the healthcare providers, the healthcare predictive analytics can play a vital role. They can help the hospitals to recognize the group patients requiring medical follow up to reduce the amount of readmissions.


The new HITECH Act includes provisions for the healthcare provider to acquire compound authorization of patients to use the patient health data for future studies. The analytics experts can use the same data for preparing models but only after removing all the personal identifiable data. But reassurance of the HIPAA compliance should be checked strictly when usage of PHI is concerned.


4. Cloud Technology


The storage of the Protected Health Information by the cloud technology is gaining popularity amongst the healthcare organization. However, for the organization involved in Cloud servicing, HIPAA compliance is a serious headache and all the service providers should be aware of all aspects of HIPAA compliance. The healthcare organizations should check for certain points about the Cloud Service providers which include standard encryption system, risk analysis audits, and high level data accession security.


5. e-Health


The advancement of healthcare technology is acting as a boon for both the healthcare industry and the patients. The increasing availability of smartphones and notepads has started a unique trend in the healthcare, termed as e-Health or Mobile Health or Telemedicine.


The online medical consultancies are helping in transit of the healthcare services to the patients residing in outlying areas. The e-Health is also playing a key role in making the healthcare facilities more convenient for the patients and also providing assistance to the healthcare providers to amplify their scope of pursuit. But the main query is how to avoid noncompliance. Well, the most appropriate solution to this is – Finding the right guy.


According to the Final HIPAA Omnibus Rule both the business associates and healthcare providers are responsible for the secure transfer and recording of the data. Being the e-Health partner, there are certain protocols needed to be followed for a proper business odyssey:

  • Acquisition of clean chit for HIPAA compliance

  • Signing Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with the healthcare associate

  • Guaranteeing high level of data cipher system and security measures


e-Health can be very useful for the healthcare providers, but a little attention to HIPAA compliance will work wonders for the business.


6. Mobile Apps


If an entrepreneur is starting a company related to healthcare-based mobile apps or softwares, they should be aware of all the rules and regulation regarding PHI and HIPAA compliance. However, the HIPAA rules are not applicable to all healthcare apps rather to the apps which gather, compile and transmit PHI with covered entities. But there are certain contemplating specks about risks factors associated with healthcare mobile apps developer should keep in mind.

  • All the gadgets like notepad, tablets and smartphones can be misplaced or lost which will generate a risk of data copout.

  • The security of data saved in these devices is a big question as it is easily accessible to any person coming in contact with the device.

  • The user might knowingly or unknowingly post data in the social media which will cause HIPAA noncompliance.


It is true that all the above mentioned risk factors are out of the application developer’s control, but they should be given attention to for HIPAA compliance.


7. Wearable Technology and other Innovative Devices


The key rule for any business is “Demand and Supply”. With the increasing demand for brisk healthcare delivery, the innovative healthcare technology devices are helping in the speedy delivery of the health information. The devices like wearable devices, stretchable devices and microchips are contributing to the supply of personalized health data like blood pressure, heart rate, pulse rate and body temperature.

But all the device manufacturers should enquire about the applicability of HIPAA compliance as storage and transmission of personal health data are involved and take appropriate measures accordingly to avoid penalty.


8. Medical Devices


The medical devices are the backbone for the healthcare industry and as the scope in healthcare is “Souping Up”, the new upgraded medical devices are introduced. But, one of the major problems faced by medical device manufacturers is the confusion regarding the applicability of HIPAA. The HIPAA compliance is mainly applicable only to companies manufacturing medical devices involved in storing PHI like unique identifying points and health data.


Any company involved in procuring health information and transmission of the data to healthcare entities should be HIPAA compliant. On contrary to this, the medical device companies involved in manufacturing devices for sale only does not require HIPAA compliance. So the most crucial step for any medical device developers to decide – Whether HIPAA compliance is applicable or not?


9.  HIPAA compliant Data center


The HIPAA compliant Data center can be helpful for removing the non compliance risks but it is important for the healthcare organization to audit risk analysis regularly and try to eliminate the potential noncompliance risks.



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