Clearwater Compliance Announces Availability of Covered Entity Omnibus ReadinessCheck™

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Free Web Application Helps HIPAA Covered Entities Assess Changes Required to Comply with Omnibus Final Rule

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Assuring compliance by the September deadline can be daunting, Chaput added. Completing our Covered Entity Omnibus ReadinessCheck™ will enable CEs to determine variances to the new regulations and the steps they must take to close those gaps.

Clearwater Compliance CEO and founder Bob Chaput announced today that the company has released a free, web-based software application that allows HIPAA Covered Entities [CEs] to assess their readiness to comply with the myriad of new requirements contained in the Omnibus Final Rule [OFR] promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services in January.

“The OFR added significantly to the requirements for protected health information [PHI] that CEs will have to meet in order to avoid the increased penalties for non-compliance,” Chaput said. “The sheer volume of new requirements could be overwhelming for CEs that do not have an up-to-date assessment process for their HIPAA compliance program, and time is short—enforcement of the new regulations begins on September 23, 2013."

“The material changes promulgated in the OFR fall into four broad categories: Business Associate [BA] Agreements, Notice of Privacy Practices [NPP], Breach Determination and Other,” Chaput noted. “‘Other' includes changes in use and disclosure requirements related to marketing, fund-raising, research, sale of Protected Health Information [PHI], underwriting, immunization of students, and required restrictions. If applicable to a CE, those changes will also affect their BA Agreements and NPPs.”

CEs are now responsible for assuring that their BAs are contractually obligated to protect and restrict PHI and to update BA contracts to ensure compliance with applicable responsibilities.
“In the area of Breach Determination, the OFR redefines ‘breach’ and adds a new requirement for a ‘breach risk assessment,’” Chaput continued. “And of course, CEs must incorporate all applicable changes contained in the OFR into their policies, procedures and training materials.”

“Assuring compliance by the September deadline can be daunting”, Chaput added. “Completing our Covered Entity Omnibus ReadinessCheck™ will enable CEs to determine variances to the new regulations and the steps they must take to close those gaps”. Organizations that access this site
http://clearwatercompliance.com/covered-entity-omnibus-readinesscheck/
and complete the questionnaire will receive, via email, a PDF version of their completed survey that can be used to plan their program.

“We’re delighted to make our ReadinessCheck™ available to CEs for free,” Chaput concluded. “Of course, knowing what gaps need to be closed is only the start of the process. We stand ready to assist those CEs who feel they need the resources and/or the expert knowledge to efficiently close those gaps and produce a compliant program.”

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About Clearwater Compliance
Clearwater Compliance, LLC, is all about and only about helping healthcare organizations and their service providers become and remain HIPAA-HITECH Compliant. Owned and operated by veteran, C-suite health care executives, Clearwater Compliance provides comprehensive, by-the-regs software and tools, risk management solutions, training, and professional services for small medical practices and healthcare startups to major healthcare systems, health plans and Fortune 100 companies. Since 2003, the company has served more than 250 organizations (including 100 hospitals). Find out more at clearwatercompliance.com.

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Elaine Axum
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