Wednesday, September 23, 2009

AHCA Launches New Tool

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration now has a new interactive Crosswalk Tool available. The Tool helps to retrieve information on privacy security and laws and regulations related to electronic health records and health information exchange.

The Crosswalk Took is an educational resource for healthcare providers and consumers protecting the use of personal health information when exchanged among providers. The interactive data base by allowing web site visitors to search for federal and state laws related to privacy and security helps to determine which law governs the sharing of specific information.

“People want to know that their health information is protected when they share it with healthcare providers,” Secretary Holly Benson said. “We created this tool to ensure that providers know the laws that protect their patients and their information.”

AHCA developed the Crosswalk Tool through a federally funded grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The federal project created a database titled the “Comparative Analysis Matrix” which is a collection of almost 150 topics typically addressed by state law that involves or impacts health information exchange. Florida is the first state to the Matrix to create an online search tool for healthcare providers and consumers.

“Many healthcare providers are familiar with HIPAA, but the Crosswalk Took shows federal and state requirements side-by-side eliminating many hours of research,” said Karen Koch, Vice President for the Florida Council for Community Mental Health and a member of the Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration Project Legal Workgroup.

AHCA’s Health Information Privacy and Security Resource Center was created to provide more information on privacy and security of electronic health records and has information on the Florida HISPC project that concluded in July 2009.

The Crosswalk Tool is available at