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Friday, July 19, 2013

Privacy: Workers' Compensation Health Data Heading for Electronic Storage

Medical records are a significant aspect of workers' compensation claims and storing them is a significant issue. As claims are filed and litigation is pursed, medical records become critical evidence in evaluation claims and adjudicating decisions.

With the explosion of electronic medical records mandated by The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, the secure storage. retrieval and dissemination of medical records has become a challenge. Even though The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1999 (HIPPA) mandates a privacy exclusion for workers' compensation claims, the medical records must remain protected and secure to maintain integretary and avoid unlawful access.

Missing from the equation are regulations from workers' compensation agencies to provide for the security and integrity of the records that have been widely disseminated within the workers' compensation system.

One company has has built a "Bunker" for health records.

"The U.S. health system is undergoing a major technological shift right now. Some equate it to finally catching up to where the banking and airline industries have been for years: Doctors and hospitals are moving to electronic health records systems, and it’s not easyCerner, based in Kansas City, Mo., has grown into one of the nation's biggest players in the field of health information technology.

"Cerner's main headquarters seems like a college campus, peppered with trees and walking paths, along with some Star Trek-like architecture.

"Cerner's headquarters, which some call "The Bunker," are based in North Kansas City. The multi-billion dollar company started here three decades ago (Photo by Elana Gordon/KCUR).
Brian Smith oversees the part of the campus that he and many others at Cerner commonly refer to as "The Bunker."

"It’s one of the data centers that Cerner has constructed in recent years, with concrete walls built to withstand a strong tornado, armed guards and multiple security levels. It’s designed to protect what’s inside: a temperature-controlled room full of thousands of servers. There are back-up generators for back-up generators, Smith says, to be sure that this health information isn’t compromised or made inaccessible by a power outage.

For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman  1.973.696.7900 have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

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