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Healthcare provider assistance in facing red flag rules

Kroll : 10 June, 2009  (Application Story)
Kroll is helping US health organizations prepare data breach protection programs in preparation for the forthcoming red flag rules
Kroll has launched an enhanced data breach preparedness program designed to help healthcare organizations guard against physical, cyber and security issues that may give rise to identity theft risks. The announcement comes just two months prior to the Aug. 1 deadline for the Federal Trade Commission Red Flag Rules, which require the implementation of an "Identity Theft Prevention" program by all organizations - including healthcare facilities - that extend lines of credit to consumers.

The Red Flag Rules specifically call for the creation of a formal, written and revisable plan for identity theft prevention that includes provisions for identifying, detecting and responding to identity theft. Kroll's breach preparedness program helps organizations create a customized plan to address the specific needs of their facilities and, in doing so, addresses many critical questions about how identity theft might affect their practices, including: How do we verify a patient's or insured's identity? What is our exposure to risk from third party vendors? How do we train employees to look beyond HIPAA to the threat of identity theft overall?

"The study we did with HIMSS Analytics last year showed that HIPAA compliance has caused some hospitals to lose sight of the bigger threat," said Brian Lapidus, chief operating officer of the fraud solutions division of Kroll. "Many of our breach clients - organizations that have lost or exposed individuals' names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers - are healthcare providers." Lapidus continued, "This breach preparedness program is built from our experiences guiding them through a compliant resolution. We know what works."

Kroll's breach preparedness program will help providers develop a flexible, scalable program to identify and respond to the red flags of identity theft that affect their patients. Among the program's key features are:

* Proprietary Risk Self-Assessment is a powerful analytical tool for facilities that need help detecting existing data risk hot-spots and determining how well protected the exposures are at current security levels.

* Privacy Awareness Training Courseware helps organizations meet the requirement for ongoing education for those employees who must handle sensitive personal information. The courseware is SCORM compliant, so that it may be deployed with most standardized e-learning platforms.

* Incident Response Plan is designed for facility decision makers in the process of identifying roles/responsibilities and organizing policies/procedures for responding to a data breach, as required by HIPAA and expanded upon in the forthcoming HITECH regulations.

* Legislative Updates ensure clients stay up-to-date on data breach notification and related privacy regulations. These services are supported by a web-based client portal that provides not only access to but full control of the management process in the event of a breach.

Besides the resources identified above, Kroll continues to combine the power of Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), the global professional services firm, to provide access to privacy liability insurance, data forensics, forensic accounting and the industry's premier notification and services support.
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