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By Jim Booth, Executive Director, PRISM International

HIPAA is not new. Members of PRISM International have been sifting through the information and misinformation related to the Privacy Rule since 1999. The Security Rule surfaced a few years after and those engaged in information management services to organizations considered Covered Entities under the law aligned their policies and procedures, trained employees, and offered their business associate agreement to CEs that did not insist on using their own version. The pre-HITECH HIPAA was a tiny little Garter snake; it was essentially harmless, even if it occasionally inspired fear in those who did not understand its purpose and nature. With the passage of HITECH the industry now faces a King Cobra capable of completely destroying a business that does not respond appropriately and prepare adequately to service Covered Entities.

Because of the sudden danger posed by changes in HIPAA, PRISM International is preparing a response to assist its members in clarifying obligations and responsibilities related to HIPAA. If PRISM is successful, this would provide tremendous relief for paper file storage companies who deal only with sealed cartons and would also assist most other information management service providers in responding to clients who may be “piling on” additional contract provisions under the guise of HIPAA compliance.

PRISM International’s Board of Directors, at their May meeting held in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary Conference, reviewed and approved this campaign for use. Following initial presentations to the US Department of Health and Human Services, which will be scheduled throughout the summer, all members and non-members of PRISM International who operate in the
United States may be asked to participate. Preparations for this member campaign will begin in July, 2010.

HIPAA is a well-established public law and as such, making any type of change occur will be difficult, time and resource intensive and require the cooperation of all members of the industry. If your company is not a member of PRISM International, it is extremely important that you join PRISM International in order to assist with this campaign. Prospective members of the organization are encouraged to contact PRISM International Executive Director Jim Booth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if they are willing to become involved in this campaign.

Even though the industry is small, if we work together we may be able to create a better environment for all information management companies in the United States.

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