Case History: HIPAA Compliance for Local Government Medical Agency

To meet specific security and compliance standards, it was determined that the ministry needed to upgrade its system by installing new firewalls and implementing appropriate policy that would improve its security posture.

  • Scenario

  • A local government agency responsible for administering Medicaid and other healthcare initiatives needed to ensure compliance with required federal security regulations.
    This agency develops eligibility, service coverage, and payment policies for a major city’s healthcare financing programs and ensures that area healthcare programs take full advantage of federal funding for services for the indigent and uninsured. The agency also manages other healthcare services and analyzes existing healthcare financing policies to ensure that they are promoting efficient, effective, and economical care.
    Wilson Consulting Group’s (WCG) task was to review, verify, and test the security controls (management, operational, and technical) of the Electronic Protected Health Information (EPHI) system and other related systems in this city. WCG also had to ensure compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Remediation/Compliance Program.
  • WCG Strategies

  • To help the agency achieve the required HIPAA security compliance posture, WCG conducted comprehensive system tests in accordance with federal and local health department security requirements. WCG tested and implemented security controls as documented in the HIPAA compliance standards to determine the extent to which the controls were being implemented correctly, operating as intended, and producing the desired outcome.
    WCG confirmed that the:
    • Suitability of technical security controls, such as firewalls, strong authentication and intrusion detection systems.
    • Audit processes to detect unauthorized actions by internal and external users, to capture evidence of successful and unsuccessful attempts of tampering, to perform forensics, and to implement incident response procedures.
    • Known vulnerabilities (such as sample code that comes with software packages, buffer overflow-type weaknesses, etc.)
    • Virus detection and protection mechanisms
  • The Outcome

  • WCG successfully examined, evaluated, documented, and prepared security remediation/compliance tests, procedures, and approvals for complex multi-tiered records management applications within the agency’s environment.
    WCG provided deliverables on time, on budget, and to the HIPAA specifications, thus enabling the agency to achieve the required HIPAA security compliance posture.

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