Verizon Enterprise Solutions on Monday (Oct. 1) unveiled a comprehensive cloud and data center infrastructure portfolio specifically designed to help the health care industry meet the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements for safeguarding electronic protected health information.
Verizon is one of the first top-tier providers to offer these specialized services, which will include the secure storing of electronic protected health information (ePHI) in Verizon's Terremark data centers. With the cloud, health care 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, health care organizations can centralize their data so they can operate more efficiently.
Available immediately, the new portfolio offers Verizon clients in the health care, insurance, pharmaceutical and supporting industries a full range of public and private cloud services that meet applicable physical, administrative and technical security controls under HIPAA.
The new health-care-enabled services are: Colocation, Managed Hosting, Enterprise Cloud, Enterprise Cloud Express Edition and Enterprise Cloud Private Edition. Along with each service, Verizon also provides a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement, through which Verizon works closely with clients to safeguard their patients' ePHI*.
"Today's health care provider is faced with the enormous and costly burden of protecting personal health information for patients," said Dr. Peter Tippett, chief medical officer and vice president of Verizon's health IT practice. "To address this need, we are bringing to market a suite of cloud services that enables health care providers to secure patient data while offloading the burden of building and managing their own data centers. By enabling a connected health care system, we intend to transform U.S. health care delivery."
Experts believe the market for secure and reliable computing and security solutions will grow rapidly through 2014 as physicians, clinics and hospitals move from paper-based to electronic record keeping in an effort to improve patient care and reduce costs. The U.S. government has mandated that health care providers transition to electronic health records within two years or face penalties through reduced Medicare and Medicaid payments.
"Health industry CIOs have a pressing need for reliable, financially secure third parties or business associates that will help address the technical, physical and administrative safeguard requirements under HIPAA security rules," said Lynne Dunbrack, program director, Connected Health IT at IDC. "Offering a secure computing capability backed by strong performance-level agreements will be compelling to these CIOs."
All health-care-focused offerings are provided from Terremark's cloud-enabled data centers in Miami, Fla., and Culpeper, Va., which meet a rigorous set of applicable HIPAA security controls as well as other security requirements. These include PCI-DSS Level 1 Compliant Service Provider, ITIL v3 based best practices, and facility clearances up to Department of Defense, Top Secret. In addition, Terremark's world-class facilities provide stringent service-level agreements on power, environmentals and availability in order to provide an enterprise-class experience for clients.
Verizon's health IT practice offers a comprehensive portfolio of managed, IT and consulting services for the health care industry to help transform patient care delivery, enhance access to care and better manage costs.
*Each client remains responsible for ensuring that it complies with HIPAA and all other applicable laws and regulations.
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 94 million retail customers 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 with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 188,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.