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Stage 2 Meaningful Use: The Next Step in HIPAA Security Risk Assessments

Covered entities and eligible providers must now address the issue of encryption of “data at rest” as part of their security risk analysis process. This shines a spotlight on the existing encryption references within the HIPAA Security Rule. Encryption of ePHI is specifically covered under 45 CFR 164.312(a)(2)(iv) which reads; "Implement a mechanism to encrypt and decrypt electronic protected health information.” However, since it is categorized as an “addressable control,” it is not specifically mandated.
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