Digital healthcare creates prescription for MSPs

Posted by Mike Vizard on Feb 21, 2017 12:11:49 PM

Regardless of political and philosophical differences over how to pay for healthcare, there’s general agreement that at least from an IT perspective the healthcare industry has never been more dynamic. In fact, a 2017 Leadership and Workforce Study published by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) finds that electronic health care records coupled with new types of patient engagement systems remain high priorities across the sector.

At the HIMSS 2017 conference this week, the dichotomy between the need to exploit IT to achieve those goals and the challenges associated with managing and securing patient data will be on display in full force. As is often the case in any industry, though, the primary issue is that the desire to deliver a better customer experience using IT is once again running ahead of the healthcare’s industry ability to secure data.

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Topics: HIPAA and Healthcare IT

Ransomware’s growing impact on healthcare security and HIPAA compliance

Posted by Anne Campbell on Nov 9, 2016 1:18:53 PM

Ransomware skyrocketed in 2016, with the FBI reporting an average of 4,000 ransomware attacks per day — a 300-percent increase since 2015. This has been especially bad news for healthcare organizations, which have been hit hard by this type of cyberattack that works quickly to encrypt files and then holds them hostage until a ransom is paid.  

In February, one of the first widely reported hospital ransomware attacks targeted Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in California, forcing the hospital to pay roughly $17,000 in ransom and resort to pen-and-paper record keeping until their files could be restored.  Since then, numerous hospitals and healthcare organizations around the country have faced similar attacks. For example, MedStar Health, which operates 10 facilities in the Baltimore-Washington region, was hit with ransomware, but it was able to recover without paying the ransom because it had backups in place for the encrypted information.

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Topics: HIPAA and Healthcare IT, Malware

Ask Intronis: How to use compliance as an MSP sales tool

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on May 16, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Q: I’m an MSP business owner, and we service a variety of small business customers in our area, providing IT services to schools, healthcare providers, and other local small businesses like law firms. My salesperson is struggling to bring in new customers since he’s running into the competition on almost every deal. I need to find a way to differentiate my MSP. How can I help my sales guy to win against the competition and close more business?

Given the situation you’re in, we think there’s one clear thing you can do to differentiate your MSP from the competition—focus on supporting compliance. You’re looking for business from healthcare, education, and legal businesses, and they all need to satisfy different compliance regulations. This opens a huge opportunity for you to win their business as an MSP who understands compliance rules, helping them meet requirements and prepare for an audit. You should get your team up to speed on regulations like HIPAA, FINRA, and PCI DSS.  

Some small business prospects you speak with might not understand the value of having a compliance expert managing their IT services. Others don’t care about being compliant; it’s simply not an issue for them. But there are also many small businesses that don't know how to be compliant but need to be especially if they’re in one of these highly regulated industries. In these cases, MSPs offer real value to the business.

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Topics: HIPAA and Healthcare IT, Ask Intronis

MSPs need to distinguish between politics and economics of compliance

Posted by Mike Vizard on Feb 11, 2016 11:00:44 AM

Now that primary season is officially upon us, the usual bombast concerning the number of regulations being enforced by the Federal government is sure to be a hot button issue. But no matter how anyone working at a managed service provider (MSP) may personally feel about those regulations, there’s no denying they're good for business.

Whether it’s the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or the Dodd-Frank Act, organizations of all sizes are being required to manage data much more responsibly and aggressively than ever before. The leaders of the organizations affected by these regulations might not always appreciate being required to comply with them, but the fact of the matter is these organizations are now spending more money managing their data than ever before.

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Topics: HIPAA and Healthcare IT

How to use Compliance-as-a-Service to set your MSP business apart

Posted by Stuart Crawford on Nov 4, 2015 9:00:00 AM

It seems like every day I get a call from a stressed out IT service provider asking how to differentiate themselves from their competition. After all, in a world where 99.9 percent of IT service organizations all say the same thing and offer similar services, how do you create separation and win new business opportunities?

In a recent article on MSPMentor, Carrie Simpson from Managed Sales Pros offered some very timely advice — Go Niche! And I couldn’t agree more. This is something we stress over and over to our clients here at Ulistic. The few that actually heed the advice and go deep into one vertical are rewarded with industry leadership and a more well run managed IT services organization.

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Topics: HIPAA and Healthcare IT, Differentiation

Health care IT security: What IT service providers need to know

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on May 5, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Data breaches are on the rise in the U.S., increasing 27.5 percent in 2014, and health care companies in particular need to start being more vigilant. Earlier this year, Anthem, a major health insurance company, experienced a cyber attack that made 80 million Americans’ sensitive information available to hackers. It serves as an important lesson on just how critical data protection can be.

As an IT service provider, it’s your responsibility to help protect your health care customers from the threat of cybercriminals attempting to gain access to patients’ confidential information. But health care businesses also need their service providers to be aware of key regulations about how health care information is handled. To position yourself as an expert in health care IT, there are a few things you need to know.

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Topics: HIPAA and Healthcare IT, Cyber Security

Healthcare spending on IT services starts to look a little sickly

Posted by Mike Vizard on Apr 23, 2015 10:44:00 AM

Thanks largely to government initiatives such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), consumption of IT service in the healthcare sector has been nothing but robust for the early part of this decade.

But a new report issued this week by Technology Business Research (TBR) says that demand for IT services among healthcare providers might finally be saturated. The report finds that in the fourth quarter of 2014 demand for IT services in the healthcare sector only grew 1.3 percent, compared to 5.4 percent in the same period a year ago.

Given the massive surge in healthcare IT spending  that the U.S. government has fostered, not being able to maintain the same high level of growth over time is understandable.

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Topics: HIPAA and Healthcare IT, Cloud Trends

How Intronis meets federal and industry compliance regulations

Posted by Lindsay Faria on Nov 13, 2014 9:06:00 AM

We know compliance is important to our partners. You support clients in a variety of industries, each of which may be required to adhere to a unique compliance standard. And failure to comply could result in serious consequences, including significant fines. 

That’s why Intronis takes compliance seriously, and why we strive to be transparent in explaining how our software helps you meet regulations. We’ve published a new data sheet that outlines the specific regulations that the Intronis ECHOplatform meets.

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Topics: HIPAA and Healthcare IT

43 percent of data breaches last year involved healthcare data

Posted by Manny Veiga on Aug 28, 2014 9:35:51 AM

Healthcare data is more valuable than ever to cybercriminals and identity thieves, according to a recent analysis of breach data.

The Washington Post's Health Reform Watch blog recently reviewed data from a number of sources, which revealed an expanded view of the threat to healthcare data over the past several years.

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Topics: HIPAA and Healthcare IT

Why many healthcare providers don't trust MSPs

Posted by Manny Veiga on Apr 14, 2014 1:18:00 PM

Some MSPs would tell you trust is everything in the IT channel, and perhaps no sector presents a bigger challenge for services providers looking to earn customer trust than healthcare.

A recent report from the Ponemon Institute demonstrates just how big a hill providers must climb to earn their healthcare clients' trust. 

The Fourth Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy and Data Security found that 40 percent of healthcare providers are "not confident" in the ability of their contractors and subcontractors to manage sensitive patient information.

An additional 33 percent of respondents were only "somewhat confident" that their business associates could handle this data.

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Topics: HIPAA and Healthcare IT

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