Make sure you are Omnibus Rule Compliant: HIPAA Privacy Checklist.

The resources we're providing below are "top shelf" HITECH/HIPAA sites. Most are sites we use on a regular basis. Some we've hardly visited, but we feel may be of interest to you, our regular HSG reader. Only resources that have stood the test of time are listed. What do we mean by that? These are resources that have shown some longevity and that are properly maintained (e.g. few, if any, broken links and relevant content that ranks high vis-a-vis update frequency). Put plainly, these are "the cream of the crop."

Also, these resources often link to other valuable resources and this allows an interested reader to simply follow the links in order to acquire a fundamental understanding of the legal issues presented by the statutes and corresponding regulations. Some of these sites have a particular normative or legislative bent to their content. By linking to such sites we neither support nor reject their perspectives. It is simply indicative of our core belief that it is better to be well informed regarding forces that may be shaping the HITECH/HIPAA agenda.

Federal Government Agencies

The resources on this page provided by the agencies should serve as a starting point for a reader that wants to find additional information regarding the HIPAA Privacy and Security rules and the HITECH Act, as well as health information technology (HIT) content related to them. This combined legislation has a significant (HIT) focus that makes it quite unique. Both HHS and the FTC (among others) have invested heavily in high quality content that is not only relevant, but comprehensive and authoritative.

Healthcare Blogs

The transformation of the health care industry, fueled by the Obama administration's healthcare initiatives, is moving forward at an accelerated pace.If you are interested in tracking the changing landscape "real time" then the blogosphere is the best place to do that. Below are some of the leading health care/technology blogs. These blogs in turn point to others. By following the links you should quickly find authors writing on your specific topic(s) of interest.

Standards Organizations

Information technology is going to play an enabling role in the health care industry's transformation. Healthcare data and interoperability standards will of necessity be core foundational components leveraged by HIT. The HITECH Act states that provider incentive payments for EHR adoption will require implementation of a "certified EHR" system. While HHS is in the process of providing a "final definition" of this term, certification will likely be based on existing industry standards, or on variations that build on and/or modify these standards.

The organizations on this page have done significant work with respect to HIT standards. They often work together as "affiliates" to "harmonize" standards required to underpin the "national healthcare infrastructure." There is broad consensus that standards are required to enable effective sharing of electronic health records. However, there is also some concern that standards "harmonization" may cause unwarranted delays. A pragmatic resolution probably falls somewhere in the middle.

Regional Extension Centers

On Tuesday, April 6, 2010 20, 2009 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the final 28 non-profit organizations to establish Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (RECs), bringing the total of RECs to 60. The Regional Centers will support health care providers with direct, individualized and on-site technical assistance in:

For a complete list of RECs, click here: Regional Extension Centers List.
For more information about RECs, click here Regional Extension Centers (ARRA)

Health Information Management Associations

This is a listing of Health Information Management Associations presented in alphabetical order. It may prove useful to our readers as they begin to implement their EHR/HITECH/HIPAA initiatives. These organizations may well play an important role locally in disseminating best practices and other useful information. Clearly, providers and facilities are going to need a considerable amount of help in reaching their objectives.

Public Health Associations

This is a listing of State Public Health Organizations presented in alphabetical order. It may prove useful to our readers as they begin to implement their EHR/HITECH/HIPAA initiatives. These organizations may, or may not, play an active role in helping their constituents disseminate best practices. We would like to believe that they would. While technology has not historically been a part of their traditional roles, the scope of the National Health Infrastructure will touch everyone even remotely connected to healthcare. These organizations certainly fit that bill and may become more active over time.

Health Information Exchange Initiatives

The exchange of health information electronically between physicians, hospitals, health plans, and patients has increased substantially in the last year and is reducing the cost of care and positively impacting physicians, according to a new survey released by the non-profit eHealth Initiative (eHI) today. “Migrating Toward Meaningful Use: The State of Health Information Exchange,” a report based on eHI's Sixth Annual Survey of Health Information Exchange, includes responses from 150 community-based initiatives and shows a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of advanced or “operational” initiatives exchanging information.  Responses from operational initiatives demonstrate an increasingly positive impact on the efficiency of care while showing a return on investment (ROI).

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