AUSTIN, Texas—The Texas Health Services Authority and the Health Information Trust Alliance are partnering to develop and implement a program that will improve the security of health information for Texas residents. The two organizations will run the Texas Covered Entity Privacy and Security Certification Program, which incorporates state and federal privacy and security regulations. Entities in Texas, the first state to have such a program, will be able to get a certification recommendation from HITrust by undergoing an assessment of their compliance with 2011 revisions to the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act. “I know that lawmakers are very serious about the safeguarding of individuals' health data,” state Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, chair of the Texas House public health committee and author of the legislation, said in a news release. “The certification process is designed to help with compliance of state and federal privacy and security laws, and to help organizations that handle health information to mitigate and control risks.” The legislation amended the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act and builds on the federal Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. It establishes safeguards for health information and stipulates administrative penalties and legal liability for health information breaches resulting from non-compliance. “Our medical records are our most sensitive information, so it is vitally important that they are protected,” state Sen. Jane Nelson said in the release. “By obtaining this certification, healthcare organizations can demonstrate a commitment to ensuring their consumers' health information is private and secure.”
Regional News/South: The Texas Health Services Authority, Health Information Trust Alliance team up
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