Big Data Can Lead to Big Problems: Protecting Health Information to Avoid HIPAA Issues

Big Data Can Lead to Big Problems: Protecting Health Information to Avoid HIPAA Issues

Data analytics has opened new commercial possibilities in health IT technology for businesses, but “big data” projects carry substantial risk if not managed correctly. Companies can find themselves in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) electronic security standards – potentially exposing them to multi-million dollar penalties.HIPAA

HIPAA requirements

Health technology companies covered by HIPAA must implement strong data security safeguards to ensure the confidentiality of electronic protected health information (ePHI), according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Noncompliance penalties

Compliance is not a theoretical concern. The HHS Office for Civil Rights is aggressively pursuing companies that knowingly or accidentally breach the confidentiality requirements. In April 2017, HHS announced a $2.5 million settlement with a wireless health services provider for potential noncompliance with the HIPAA privacy and security rules.

Companies like RxEOB, which take the responsibility of protecting ePHI seriously, invest heavily in ensuring the HIPAA compliance of their software and products. Protecting patient data is not only a legal obligation, but it is also the right thing to do.

Use of big data

Used properly, big data analytics allow insurers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and accountable care organizations to leverage the myriad data sets at their disposal to improve patient care and lower health care costs. By analyzing their existing data regarding eligibility, claims, formulary, and patient-provided data, these organizations can use mobile technology to offer personalized messaging to encourage positive behavior change and efficient use of existing benefits.

RxEOB®MercuryMessaging™, for example, uses in-depth analytics on the back-end that enable real-time member targeting with branded, personalized and contextualized communication using each member’s preferred method.

Contact us

RxEOB continues to work with health care organizations to leverage big data to create member engagement programs to increase adherence and to drive better patient health care outcomes. For more information, visit www.rxeob.com, or call 804-643-1540.