Healthcare is complex and can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be.  Whether you're an industry professional or not, it is commonly felt that more time is spent understanding the healthcare conundrum versus solving it. That's where Catalyze comes in. We have set out to investigate the underlying logic behind the astounding regulatory maze of this field and distill the information to those searching for it. Why spend your time mastering the problem when you could be discovering the innovative solutions?

HITRUST vs. HIPAA

Many people fail to realize that the Health Information Trust Alliance, known simply as HITRUST, is not a framework at all, but an organization comprised of healthcare industry leaders who regard information security as a fundamental component to data systems and exchanges. The HITRUST organization, in partner with other technology and information security leaders, created and maintains the Common Security Framework (CSF). HITRUST and HIPAA are both two hot topics in healthcare but what is the difference?

  • HITRUST builds on HIPAA. It takes HIPAA, a non-standardized and non-prescriptive compliance framework, and creates a standardized compliance framework, assessment, and certification process for the healthcare industry.
  • HITRUST “harmonizes” HIPAA with other compliance frameworks such as PCI and NIST. HITRUST also adapts requirements for certification to the risks of an organization based on organizational, system, and regulatory factors.
  • As opposed to HIPAA, which has defined penalties for security breaches, the enforcement of HITRUST is dependent on the healthcare industry itself, typically covered entities like hospitals and payers, requiring HITRUST CSF Certification of vendors.
  • Having been through both HIPAA audits and a Certified CSF Assessment, it is safe to say that HITRUST CSF Certification is a much more rigorous process, with a higher burden of proof put on the organization trying to achieve certification, than a HIPAA audit.
  • Achieving HITRUST CSF Certification requires significantly more time, effort, and resources than a HIPAA audit. Being HITRUST CSF Certified should be seen as a more significant badge for security and compliance than completing a HIPAA audit.

Why does HITRUST matter? Well, as healthcare is becoming further dependent on evolving technologies to store and transmit data, cybersecurity and compliance have become a progressively emphasized, yet convoluted, matter. Navigating the tortuous labyrinth of federal, state and third party security mandates has become a feat that can quickly consume an organization’s resources. If that isn’t enough, getting through all of the twists, turns and pitfalls to achieve compliance is only half the battle. Healthcare organizations and IT vendors must also prove their compliance to guarantee they are a trusted business partner. With all considerations, isn’t it obvious that the industry is in need of a system that is clear, standard and secure? Thankfully, that’s exactly what HITRUST has established in order to put the trust in data security.

HITRUST isn’t easy, and it shouldn’t be. The experience we’ve gained as a company and the extensive testing of our technology brings great value to our customers. We’re ecstatic because our HITRUST CSF Certification is helping our customers prove their applications and data are secure by being an even more compelling proof than our HIPAA audits.

If you’re already a Catalyze customer, there’s nothing you need to do; the infrastructure you’re hosting on is HITRUST CSF Certified. If you’re not a Catalyze customer and still want to learn why this is so valuable, or simply have questions about what it takes to complete a HIPAA audit or HITRUST assessment, please don’t hesitate to reach out, as our team of experts wants to be your trusted resource.

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