Identity theft has become epidemic in the United States — and across the world for that matter. It seems as if we hear about major breaches of personal data on a weekly basis, and now healthcare data breaches are becoming more and more prevalent. Nearly 42 million people have had their protected health information (PHI) breached since 2009.
Over the past couple of years, a number of organizations, including Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Community Health Systems (CHS) and Xerox Healthcare, have experienced massive PHI breaches. The Anthem breach affected nearly 80 million records. A breach at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission put the state out of HIPAA compliance. And finally, CHS had 4.5 million patient records stolen by cyber criminals.
HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act originally signed into law in 1996, has become a key regulatory driver in healthcare. In 2013, the privacy and security rules of HIPAA — as well as its enforcement policies administered by the Office of Civil Rights — were expanded and strengthened. In a recent survey by Health Data Management, chief information officers now list privacy and security as a Top 5 priority for 2016, thereby making HIPAA an executive initiative. And the first step in a comprehensive HIPAA compliance program is a thorough and complete risk assessment. This is a requirement of every organization subject to HIPAA and is also a requirement under the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Meaningful Use program, which supports the concept of electronic health records using certified technology.
Given the regulatory environment and the primed market conditions, Konica Minolta and All Covered have partnered with a leading HIPAA services organization, ecfirst, to deliver HIPAA consulting professional services to our customers. This includes Risk and Vulnerability Assessments as well as HIPAA certification programs that enable our customers to satisfy the HIPAA and HITECH requirements. This portfolio of offerings increases our value to our customers, heightens our industry leadership and illuminates further opportunities for IT managed services and solutions to assist customers in mitigating security gaps exposed during the assessment.
This is a significant opportunity for Konica Minolta and All Covered as we continue to focus on healthcare and expand our capabilities in this critical vertical market.