To help enable the healthcare industry to meet the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements for safeguarding electronic protected health information (ePHI), Verizon is expanding its Healthcare Enabled Services to five additional data centers and offering a broader range of cloud and data center infrastructure services.
In addition to Miami, Fla. and Culpeper, Va., healthcare organizations can now securely store their ePHI in Verizon's data centers located in Richardson, Texas; Santa Clara, Calif.; Englewood, Colo.; Carteret, N.J. and Elmsford, N.Y.
Hear from Verizon healthcare executive Rich Black, who talks about the importance of these services to healthcare organizations in the below Q&A.
Question: Why is the cloud important to the healthcare market?
Black: With the cloud, healthcare professionals can collaborate, share patient information in near real-time, and store large volumes of data for electronic health records and radiology images. In addition, healthcare organizations can centralize their data so they can operate more efficiently.
Question: Why does this announcement matter for healthcare organizations?
Black: For many healthcare organizations, storing and managing ePHI on their own can be cost-prohibitive. Verizon’s Healthcare Enabled Services allow healthcare organizations to focus on their core competency -- delivering care to patients -- while letting Verizon focus on providing an end-to-end infrastructure management solution that securely delivers enterprise-class connectivity, availability and reliability.
Question: What does Healthcare Enabled Services mean?
Black: Healthcare Enabled Services are current Verizon Cloud and Data Center Service offerings that meet applicable physical, technical and administrative security requirements for Business Associates under HIPAA/HITECH. Associated services include colocation (remote hands, smart hands); enterprise cloud (cloud plus back up); managed hosting (database, applications, back up), as well as intrusion detection protection and log aggregation for cloud and managed hosting.
Along with each service, Verizon also provides a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement, through which Verizon works closely with clients to safeguard their patients' ePHI*.
Healthcare clients have the additional benefits to leverage Verizon’s Professional Security Services (PSS) including assessment and risk management services.
Question: What makes the recent HCES expansion notice significant?
Black: Verizon is a leader in the cloud and security service markets and offers an extensive line of products and services to the healthcare industry. The expansion of the Healthcare Enabled Services program demonstrates Verizon’s continuing commitment to provide secure IT infrastructure solutions to our Healthcare clients who access and store sensitive patient data.
Clients can now store, manage, and safeguard ePHI outside their four walls, making it easier to collaborate and coordinate care.
Question: Is the service secure?
Black: In addition to Verizon meeting a rigorous set of applicable HIPAA/HITECH security controls, many of our data centers and services also meet key other compliance defined security requirements including:
• PCI-DSS Level 1 Compliant Service Provider;
• SSAE 16 (SOC 2) Type II Audited;
• ITIL v3-based best practices;
• FISMA and DIACAP Compliant Federal Cloud: Operating Federal cloud environments for agencies meeting FISMA Low and Moderate, DIACAP MAC Level 3 (Miami, Fla. and Culpeper, Va. facilities);
• Facility Clearances up to DoD Top Secret (Miami, Fla. and Culpeper, Va.)
* Each client remains responsible for ensuring that it complies with HIPAA and all other applicable laws and regulations.