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Contexture HIEs Earn HITRUST Health IT Security Certification

The Denver- and Phoenix-based HIEs passed 19 health IT security assessment categories for HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) certification.

The two health information exchanges (HIEs) that make up regional patient data sharing organization Contexture, Denver-based CORHIO and Phoenix-based Health Current, recently earned separate health IT security certification statuses from HITRUST.

Certification through the HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) indicates that both organizations’ health IT systems and technical processes meet key regulations and industry-defined requirements for health data security.

The certification process involves 19 assessment categories, such as third-party management, password management, access control, and physical security.

Melissa Kotrys, CEO of Contexture, noted that achieving the HITRUST CSF status is a significant achievement for the HIES.

“HITRUST is not just a privacy and security program, it’s an organizational program,” Kotrys said in a press release. “All employees from CORHIO and Health Current were involved in the process of ensuring they meet complex compliance and privacy requirements that are critical to ensuring the security and integrity of the HIEs.”

“This achievement puts CORHIO and Health Current among an elite group worldwide and helps both organizations build trust with their business partners,” Kotrys continued.

CORHIO and Health Current serve 1,800 healthcare organizations across Colorado and Arizona.

“We are pleased to demonstrate to our customers the highest standards for protecting sensitive data and information by achieving HITRUST CSF Certification,” said Morgan Honea, executive vice president of Contexture.

Honea emphasized that retaining the HITRUST certification is an ongoing process that will require ongoing effort from both CORHIO and Health Current. 

“In today’s ever-changing threat landscape, HITRUST is continually innovating to find new and creative approaches to address challenges in privacy and security,” Honea said.

Bimal Sheth, vice president of assurance services for HITRUST, noted that the HITRUST CSF Assurance Program is the most rigorous accreditation available, consisting of a variety of automated and manual quality assurance checks.

“The fact that CORHIO and Health Current have achieved HITRUST CSF Certification attests to the high quality of their information risk management and compliance programs,” Sheth said.

Certification status will be subject to high-level review over the next two years and the organizations will need to complete the comprehensive assessments again in 2023.

The two HIEs formed the regional data sharing organization Contexture under an affiliation agreement signed earlier this year.

The mission of the new company is to advance individual and community health and wellness through enhanced patient data sharing. With greater access to patient data and EHRs, providers can make more informed care decisions, which in turn may lead to higher quality care delivery and improved patient outcomes.

“As a new regional organization, Contexture has the potential to serve communities as the largest health information organization in the West,” Kotrys said in a press release at the time of the announcement. “For decades we have empowered providers with information on millions of unique patients and today are in a position to better serve the needs of national payers, health systems, and state and federal agencies.”

In addition to strengthening existing core HIE services in each state, Contexture’s new innovation department will help meet the interoperability needs of key stakeholders with an initial focus on state agencies such as Medicaid.

Contexture also will have a new customer experience department. Other departments will continue their focus in IT operations, policy, finance strategy, business development, human resources, legal and compliance.  

“I am excited to bring new services and offerings to our communities, including our new Innovation team, which possesses unparalleled expertise on how state and healthcare policy, financing, and operations work,” said Honea, who oversees several departments at the new organization. “This will be a tremendous resource for Arizona, Colorado and beyond.”

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