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HITRUST Adds Privacy Controls to its Common Security Framework

January 7, 2015
by John DeGaspari
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The addition of privacy controls will create a fully integrated information security and privacy framework, according to the group

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) says it has added privacy controls to version seven of the HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) being released later this month. This addition creates a fully integrated privacy and security framework that meets the regulatory requirements of the U.S. healthcare industry, according to the group, which says organizations can now rely on a single framework to manage their information privacy and security risk and compliance.

Developed over the last 18 months by the HITRUST Privacy Working Group, the privacy controls are meant to provide better alignment between healthcare organizations’ security and privacy programs and allow for an integrated approach for protecting health information under Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). After conducting a review of various privacy frameworks, standards and regulations, the working group recommended the inclusion of specific privacy control categories, objectives, specifications and requirements by implementation level.

The HITRUST CSF has evolved into a more comprehensive and robust framework with which organizations can address their security and privacy programs and reduce the burden of compliance with all the applicable healthcare-related requirements, according to the group. Although the HITRUST CSF will incorporate both privacy and security controls, organizations will have the option to obtain certification for privacy, security or both in order to choose the approach and pace most suited to their operational and compliance objectives.

In addition, this release of the HITRUST CSF incorporates the Minimum Acceptable Risk Standards for Exchanges (MARS-E), additional guidance for cyber security, and enhancements to risk factors and assurance methodology. HITRUST is currently updating MyCSF to support the additional privacy controls and enable organizations to perform privacy control assessments, compliance reporting and related remediation tracking within the tool.

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