Upcoming 5th Annual Conference on Safeguarding Health Information With Guest Commentator Richard D. Dvorak

National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) and Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) are co-hosting the 5th annual conference Safeguarding Health Information: Building Assurance through HIPAA Security June 6-7, 2012, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.

The conference will explore the current health information technology security landscape and the HIPAA Security Rule, highlight the present state of health information security, and provide practical strategies, tips, and techniques for implementing the HIPAA Security Rule. I will be attending the conference for several reasons.

First, Day 1 will include “Beyond HIPAA: The FTC Privacy Report.” The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has been looking into issues associated with privacy, and Jon Tomes and I are of the opinion that some HIPAA violations could also be FTC violations. On March 26, 2012, the FTC issued a final report setting forth best practices for businesses to protect the privacy of American consumers and give them greater control over the collection and use of their personal data. I am very interested to hear what DHHS thinks of the report and its effect on health care professionals.

Second, also on Day 1, OCR will provide information about the recently launched audit program that I mentioned in my blog item posted January 22, 2012. OCR will also give its views regarding the security of mobile devices. Further, American Health Information Management Association (“AHIMA”)’s Dan Rode, friend and former Healthcare Financial Management Association (“HFMA”) colleague of our Veterans Press editor Alice McCart, will be presenting on “Integrity Protections.”

Third, on Day 2, the Director of OCR, Leon Rodriguez, starts off the day with what looks to be a very interesting and exciting list of regulatory topics, according to the agenda.

You still have time to register for the conference.

One further reason that I am looking forward to attending the conference is that I hope to make time at the end of each day to work on the short story that Jon Tomes has insisted that I write. In “Dog Dvorak,” I will fictionalize how I actually found and rescued a client’s adult son from the crack cocaine ghettos of Columbus, GA. Watch for the short story and more blog posts from me as the conference gets under way.

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