EHNAC and HITRUST Combine HIPAA Security Criteria, CSF Framework

Oct. 20, 2016
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) announced plans to streamline their accreditation and certification programs.

The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) announced plans to streamline their accreditation and certification programs.

Through the collaboration, EHNAC will replace its HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)-related privacy and security criteria with the HITRUST CSF provisions and controls. In a press release, 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,” Daniel Nutkis, CEO of HITRUST, said in a statement.

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,” Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC, said in a statement. “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,” Paul Uhrig, chief administrative, legal and privacy officer at Surescripts, said in a statement. “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,” Karin Lindgren, senior vice president and chief compliance officer, at Availity said.

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