Tackle the Privacy Pain Points of HIPAA

Skyflow’s holistic approach removes the hardest technical hurdles of HIPAA:

  • Limit Unneeded PHI Access

  • Secure Patients’ PHI

  • Log Every Use of PHI

  • Fulfill Right of Access Requests

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Proven HIPAA Compliance

Achieving and maintaining HIPAA compliance shouldn't require painkillers. Skyflow gives you the power to centrally manage and isolate protected electronic health information (ePHI or simply, PHI) in a Data Privacy Vault, making it quick and easy to satisfy HIPAA’s privacy and security requirements.

With Skyflow, whether you’re improving patient outcomes physically or virtually, preserving patient privacy and trust just got simpler. Using a Data Privacy Vault is the first step to true data privacy.

Move Fast, Don’t Break HIPAA

Fine-grained Data Access Control

Quickly build and centrally manage the data access flows you need, within your organization and with third parties. Centrally control who sees what data, when, where, and how using any combination of policies, roles, and attributes.

Privacy by Design

Skyflow Data Privacy Vault takes a zero trust approach to data privacy – never trust, always verify. Every PHI access request gets verified from the Data Privacy Vault so security and privacy don’t have to be a headache.

Eliminate Breach Impact

Remove all PHI from your infrastructure and replace it with format-preserving tokens. With PHI securely protected in your Skyflow vault, the rest of your infrastructure becomes less risky and more flexible, so you can move quickly and not break data privacy.

End Information Sprawl

Keep sensitive PHI isolated in a zero trust Data Privacy Vault instead of scattered across databases or systems. Managing one authoritative PHI data source makes it quick and easy to respond to right of access requests.

Radically Better Healthcare
Data Management

Advanced Data Governance Engine

Satisfy HIPAA requirements by governing where, how, and who can access patients’ PHI. Layering this complexity atop requirements like GDPR is a big challenge, even for the largest global companies. Fortunately, managing this complexity is easy when you use Skyflow’s powerful but intuitive policy expression language to create RBAC, ABAC, and PBAC policies that control how sensitive data is accessed and used.

Polymorphic Encryption

Keep your data encrypted at rest, in transit, and in memory. Skyflow’s unique approach to data security utilizes multiple encryption and tokenization techniques to ensure optimal security without sacrificing data usability.

Automated Audit Logs

Document data access with a robust audit trail to ensure HIPAA compliance. Every action in your vault is automatically logged and auditable. Skyflow also makes it easy to audit and investigate data access using SQL queries, so you can monitor compliance with ease and quickly respond to security incidents.

Isolated Regional Vaults
for Data Residency

Whether your patients are only in the US, or they reside around the world with their own residency requirements, Skyflow has you covered. Skyflow can host your vault in the US, or anywhere in the world, while giving you total control over data residency and access.

Frequently Asked Questions about HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) establishes privacy and security standards for PHI. This section covers a few of the most common questions companies have about using Skyflow to achieve and maintain HIPAA compliance.
Does HIPAA Apply to My Organization?

HIPAA applies to covered entities and their business associates.

Covered entities are businesses or organizations that create, receive, or transmit PHI, such as health insurance companies that have your claims information, doctors that have your prescription records, and healthcare clearinghouses that help doctors get reimbursements from your insurance.

Business associates are people or entities that perform certain functions or activities that involve PHI on behalf of a covered entity, such as SaaS companies, data storage providers, and medical device manufacturers.

Does HIPAA Apply to My Healthtech App?

Many aspects of healthcare services and data processing has shifted online, in the form of a talk therapy app or patient signature SaaS. You might wonder whether the project you’re working on falls under the jurisdiction of HIPAA, and even if it doesn’t, what other regulations you might be unaware of.

In general, if you’re collecting, processing, storing, or sharing sensitive PHI, HIPAA likely applies to you. However, if HIPAA doesn’t apply and you are unsure, check out this guidance issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

In 2021, The FTC noted the Health Breach Notification Rule, which requires notification in case of a breach to even apps that are not covered under HIPAA. Many Healthtech apps fall under this Breach Notification Rule. Violations can be as high as $43,000 per violation per day.

What Data is Considered as PHI under HIPAA?

Any health information that contains individual identifier that is used, maintained, stored, or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate is considered PHI regardless of its origin. The 18 identifiers that make health information PHI are:

  • Name
  • Address (all geographic subdivisions smaller than state, including street address, city county, and zip code)
  • All elements (except years) of dates related to an individual (including birth date, admission date, discharge date, date of death, and exact age if over 89)
  • Telephone numbers
  • Fax number
  • Email address
  • Social Security Number
  • Medical record number
  • Health plan beneficiary number
  • Account number
  • Certificate or license number
  • Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers, including license plate numbers
  • Device identifiers and serial numbers
  • Web URL
  • Internet Protocol (IP) Address
  • Biometric identifiers (such as fingerprints, or retinal scan)
  • Photographic image - Photographic images are not limited to images of the face.
  • Any other characteristic that could uniquely identify the individual

It’s not only past and current health information that is covered under HIPAA. HIPAA also includes future information about medical conditions or physical and mental health that’s related to the provision of care or payment for care.

The only exception to HIPAA is when the health data collected is not on the behalf of a covered entity, such as heart rate data recorded by fitness trackers (see earlier section Does HIPAA Apply to My Health Tech App? for more details).

How Does Skyflow Help Me Comply with HIPAA?

With Skyflow Data Privacy Vault as part of your architecture, you can better protect your patients’ PHI by centralizing it and avoiding sensitive data sprawl across your systems. With one centralized PHI source, management and compliance become more manageable. Instead of configuring access rules from multiple systems, you can centrally enforce policies so only the right people and workflows can access the data. Responding to access requests becomes a matter of making one API call. Say goodbye to manual processes!

What is the Penalty for Violating HIPAA?

HIPAA violations can range from civil penalties starting at $100 per violation to penalties for willful negligence that carry fines starting at $250,000, with the possibility of jail time. These fines might be accompanied by expensive and time-consuming corrective action plans, not to mention a reputation-damaging inclusion on the “HIPAA Wall of Shame.

Can PHI Be Stored and Processed outside of the US?

Some states and federal agencies have either banned or provided very strict guidelines for any Medicaid data to be stored or processed overseas. You can use Skyflow’s data residency features to keep PHI in the country it was collected to minimize risk, removing a potential layer of complexity.

Does HIPAA Have Data Residency Requirements?

There is no specific language in HIPAA that restricts the data residency of PHI and would forbid it from being stored or processed. You can use Skyflow’s data residency features to keep PHI in the country it was collected to minimize risk, removing a potential layer of complexity.

How Does HIPAA Relate to Consumer Privacy Laws?

HIPAA is specifically applicable to PHI. But chances are if you’re handling PHI you’re likely handling personal identifiable information (PII) that falls within the scope of one of the consumer privacy laws in the US: California’s CCPA and its amendment, CPRA, Virginia’s VCDPA, Colorado’s ColoPA, and Utah’s UCPA.

Privacy regulation can feel like a lot to handle, even when these laws apply only to people who live in specific states. But fear not. If you take a privacy by design approach to handle all personal information, you can easily comply with existing and new privacy regulations from anywhere in the United States and beyond.

If your business is already aligned with HIPAA, maintaining compliance with other state privacy laws shouldn’t be too much hassle. Learn more about how Skyflow can help organizations of all sizes simplify and accelerate CCPA compliance.

What Else Should I Know About HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was first passed in 1996 to reform healthcare. Over time, various updates were made to bring HIPAA to its current state.
The scope of HIPAA is wide, and not all aspects are applicable to your organization. HIPAA defines a range of requirements, both non-technical and technical. Skyflow helps healthcare technology developers to address the following key HIPAA technical requirements:

HIPAA Requirement

HIPAA Rule

Skyflow Solution

The HIPAA Privacy Rule (45 CFR Part 160 and Subparts A and C of Part 164)
Requires appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy of PHI and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without an individual’s authorization.
Store patients’ PHI in a Data Privacy Vault that keeps data encrypted at rest, in memory, and in transit. Centrally enforce who in your organization has access to what information, in which format, and for which authorized purposes.
The HIPAA Security Rule (45 CFR Part 160 and Subparts A and C of Part 164)
Requires appropriate technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and security of PHI.
Skyflow Data Privacy Vault takes a zero trust approach to data access – never trust, always verify – to keep personal data safe and secured. Skyflow’s infrastructure employs multiple levels of system recovery and data recovery. Data is regularly backed up and tested, and all services are continuously monitored to ensure high availability.
The HIPAA Audit Log Rule (45 CFR  164.312(b))
Requires HIPAA-covered entities to provide notification following a breach of PHI unless the probability of re-identification is low.
Remove all the PHI from your infrastructure and replace it with format-preserving tokens. With PHI securely protected in your Skyflow vault, the potential points of failure and likelihood of a HIPAA breach are greatly reduced.
Individuals' Rights to PHI Access (45 CFR 164.524)
Individuals have the right to inspect, obtain, or transmit a copy of all PHI maintained by the covered entity.
Securely retrieve PHI with an API call from a centralized Data Privacy Vault.
The most flexible solution on the market, Skyflow’s Data Privacy Vault takes minutes to set up and is built using a zero trust architecture that protects your sensitive data while accelerating your go-to-market plans.

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Avoid the limitations of proxy-based services or the cost and risks of developing an in-house solution. Let us show you why Skyflow is the better way — sign up for a demo today.