Verizon Gives Health Care Identity Services a Booster Shot

As part of Verizon's strategy to help health care organizations combat rising incidents of identity theft by enabling secure access to digitized health information, the company is adding new features and capabilities to its health care identity services.  These enhancements will further enable health care organizations to transform patient care delivery, enhance access to care and better manage costs.

Verizon Universal Identity Services-Healthcare, delivered from the Verizon cloud through the company's Terremark IT services delivery subsidiary, now supports additional health care identity standards for accessing electronic health records and health information exchanges, as well as credentials for electronic prescribing, known as e-prescribing, including prescriptions for controlled substances.

In addition, the enhanced services now deliver legally binding digital signature capabilities, enabling health care providers to digitally sign patient health information - such as treatment plans, electronic prescriptions, laboratory reports and discharge orders - with strong user authentication and security protections.  Other digitally signed documents that can be securely shared include filings to government agencies and official communications with contractors and business partners.  And, with Verizon's new ID Message Center, users can easily monitor and track their digital signature activities through a convenient mobile application or optional Web-based portal.

Making the package even more attractive for health care professionals is the ability to now use their smartphones and tablets running on the widely used iOS, Android and BlackBerry mobile operating systems to authenticate their identity to gain access to these new capabilities.

"Securely and quickly authenticating the digital identity of health care professionals is a key foundational element supporting the electronic exchange of health care information," said Peter Tippett, vice president of industry and security solutions, Verizon.  "By streamlining and strengthening the issuance of health identities, our newly enhanced universal identity service for health care will help boost widespread adoption and act as a catalyst for further transformation of the U.S. health care delivery system."

Broad Set of Health Care Identity Standards Now Supported

Specifically, the service now supports the code of federal regulations from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  CFR-1311, a set of guidelines from the DEA, regulates the use of e-prescribing for controlled substances.  CFR-21 Part 11, from the FDA, provides digital signature guidelines for the submission of electronic records.  In June, Verizon announced that the service supports the SAFE-BioPharma standard, the only life science digital standard that offers interoperability with government agencies, such as the FDA and the European Medicines Agency.

In addition, Verizon's health care identity platform incorporates the standards established by the Initiative for Open Authentication, an industry group working toward an open, standards-based system to support the issue of multi-factor identity credentials.

Verizon Is Leading the Way for Health Care Identity Credentials

Launched in November 2010, Verizon Universal Identity Services-Healthcare, a cloud-based service offered via a software-as-a-service delivery model, provides health care organizations with a cost-effective and streamlined means of issuing strongly authenticated identity credentials.

The multi-factored credentials delivered by the service are designed to meet the Level 3 authentication requirements created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the federal agency that works with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.  The credentials also help enable U.S. health care professionals to meet federal meaningful use requirements contained in the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

Verizon Connected Healthcare Solutions, the company's health care practice group, offers a comprehensive portfolio of managed, IT and consulting services for the health care industry.

SAFE-BioPharma® is a trademark of SAFE-BioPharma Association. Any use of this trademark requires approval from SAFE-BioPharma Association.

Verizon is a global leader in driving better business outcomes for enterprises and government agencies. Verizon delivers integrated IT and communications solutions via its high-IQ global IP and mobility networks to enable businesses to securely access information, share content and communicate. Verizon is rapidly transforming to a cloud-based "everything-as-a-service" delivery model that will put the power of enterprise-class solutions within the reach of every business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 106 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.