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Booster Shot For Patient Privacy

Health-related companies find ways to prepare for coming HIPAA regulations.
For insurance and health-care companies, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is "a looming cloud over the horizon," says Andy Jacobs, senior messaging administrator for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. Jacobs wants to make sure that the privacy rules that take effect next year don't rain on his company.

One of the HIPAA requirements is to make sure that E-mail communications are secure and medical information is kept confidential. Jacobs turned to Authentica Inc., a vendor of content-management and secure-messaging applications, for software to secure and manage communications among employees, partners, and its 4.1 million customers. With Authentica's SafeRoute, unveiled this week, Jacobs says he'll be able to establish E-mail policies so that only the intended recipients can read confidential health information.

SafeRoute can scan E-mail content for confidential information, as established by the insurer's HIPAA policy. If an employee accidentally tries to send an unsecured E-mail containing confidential information to the wrong person, SafeRoute will prevent that from happening. Jacobs initially is deploying the software to 15,000 users. SafeRoute starts at $32,500 for 50 mailboxes; pricing for 1,000 mailboxes starts at $70,000.

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