Belleville-based Applied Technology Methods and Practices, a health care technology and compliance firm, Tuesday announced expanded services to help health care businesses comply with government regulations such as HIPAA.

Important changes to the HIPAA law covering patient data and privacy for health care providers was signed into law in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the federal stimulus. Called the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH, businesses now have new, important responsibilities if they work with health care providers. The health care providers are called “covered entities,” and the companies that work with them are called “business associates” under the law. And any business associate that has access to customers’ so-called protected health information must abide by all of the rules of the Covered Entities they service. This means they must be HIPAA compliant.

“Because of the tightened regulations, health care providers are, more frequently, requesting proof of HIPAA compliance from their business associates,” said Joe Dylewski, principal of ATMP. “Those business associates that can prove HIPAA compliance
present a higher level of credibility and competitive advantage in the health care industry.  Our solutions reduce costs and time, while increasing awareness.”

ATMP says it has a proven model to guide business associates in meeting HIPAA standards and implementing the appropriate
management practices and policies that contribute to compliance. In addition, ATMP Solutions enables clients to implement an automated compliance management process resulting in a cost-effective and comprehensive solution.

The HIPAA Business Associate Compliance Assessment is an accurate and thorough analysis of an organization’s current compliance status. This includes a deep examination of exposure and visibility a business partner may have to a provider’s protected health information. ATMP Solutions conducts a gap analysis and assists in developing a remediation plan that leads to

ATMP Solutions’ experience in HIPAA compliance, health care and IT provides key ingredients in the continuous process
of compliance and monitoring. ATMP Solutions provides a comprehensive solution that quickly and cost-effectively enables governance, risk management and compliance.

The HITECH Act, adopted in 2009, builds on the privacy and security rules and criteria to further address risks. With the passage of the HITECH, additional emphasis was placed on the responsibility of health care entities and their business partners who have visibility to protected health information to insure that the data is held safe and secure and responses to incidents are effectively managed.

Refined regulations were specified in the Federal HITECH Act, including increased fines, enforcement and media exposure for breaches of patient and business information.

“Health care providers and their business partners are under increased internal and external scrutiny to comply with HIPAA regulations and understand their risk,” Dylewski said. “Business associates play a significant role in the security and privacy of Protected Health Information.  For best results, we recommend business associates partner with, knowledgeable, qualified and certified HIPAA specialists.”

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