EHNAC and HITRUST Announce Collaboration
Healthcare’s leading accreditation and certification organizations collaborate to leverage synergies, strengthen program frameworks, and reduce cost and inefficiencies for the compliance reporting process
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) (@) and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) (@) announced that the two organizations have committed to streamline their accreditation and certification programs for industry stakeholders. Through the collaboration, EHNAC will replace its HIPAA-related privacy and security criteria with the HITRUST CSF provisions and controls, while still maintaining the stakeholder-specific benefits of its accreditation process. The two organizations call on other standards development organizations and auditors to join them in streamlining their assessment processes to help reduce, if not eliminate, redundant assessments and their associated costs and complexities.
“The healthcare industry is plagued by well-meaning yet inefficient processes, standards and protocols. It is through this partnership with EHNAC, and potentially other like-minded standards organizations, that we are growing our vision of helping the industry eliminate the complexity relating to information protection and compliance,” said Daniel Nutkis, CEO, HITRUST.
Within the terms of the agreement, EHNAC will serve as an assessor for HITRUST, becoming the only organization able to provide both EHNAC accreditation and HITRUST CSF certification. Beginning with EHNAC’s 2017 criteria, this approach will allow organizations that have already obtained a CSF certification to leverage that assessment in obtaining accreditation for one of EHNAC’s 18 stakeholder-specific accreditation programs. It will also reduce the need to address inconsistent requirements and redundancies in control requirements and reporting involved in multiple assessments. The status of organizations that are currently accredited by EHNAC will not be impacted by this change.
“After mapping our respective programs, we found a high percentage of overlap between our HIPAA-related privacy and security criteria with that of HITRUST CSF, with some minor differences in controls used to determine compliance,” said Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC. “It is an incredible win for the industry that our organizations partner together to, most importantly, ensure the security and compliance of the healthcare industry, but to also do so in a way that offers more leadership and efficiency, and less complexity, redundancy and costs.”
“At a time of heightened focus on privacy and security measures within the healthcare environment, it is refreshing to see the two leading standards development organizations band together to make these crucial processes streamlined and more transparent,” said Paul L. Uhrig, chief administrative, legal, & privacy officer at Surescripts. “This is a major win for the industry as forward-looking organizations seek to improve their compliance reporting procedures.”
“Coming from an organization that maintains both EHNAC Accreditation and HITRUST CSF Certification, this collaboration not only benefits us directly, but the entire industry by establishing the precedent for greater alignment of leading accreditation and certification organizations to eliminate redundancies which will reduce costs,” said Karin Lindgren, senior vice president and chief compliance officer, at Availity.
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) is a voluntary, self-governing standards development organization (SDO) established to develop standard criteria and accredit organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data. These entities include accountable care organizations, data registries, electronic health networks, EPCS vendors, eprescribing solution providers, financial services firms, health information exchanges, health information service providers, management service organizations, medical billers, outsourced service providers, payers, practice management system vendors and third-party administrators.
EHNAC was founded in 1993 and is a tax-exempt 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. Guided by peer evaluation, the EHNAC accreditation process promotes quality service, innovation, cooperation and open competition in healthcare.
Founded in 2007, the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) was born out of the belief that information protection should be a core pillar of, rather than an obstacle to, the broad adoption of health information systems and exchanges. HITRUST-in collaboration with public and private healthcare technology, privacy and information security leaders-has championed programs instrumental in safeguarding health information systems and exchanges while ensuring consumer confidence in their use.
HITRUST programs include the establishment of a common risk and compliance management framework (CSF); an assessment and assurance methodology; educational and career development; advocacy and awareness; and a federally recognized cyber Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) and supporting initiatives. Over 84 percent of hospitals and health plans, as well as many other healthcare organizations and business associates, use the CSF, making it the most widely adopted security framework in the industry.