Helping Companies Comply With HIPPA

Compuware, Microsoft and Washington Publishing on Monday will unveil a partnership to help hospitals and other healthcare organizations comply with upcoming federal HIPPA regulations.

Compuware Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Washington Publishing Co. plan to unveil on Monday a partnership to help hospitals and other healthcare organizations comply with upcoming federal insurance information regulations.

In one year, the healthcare industry faces a major deadline mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. By Oct. 16, 2002, healthcare organizations, including health insurance companies, must comply with HIPPA transaction standards. It is expected that the standards will change routinely, as often as every year, making the regulatory requirement something of a moving target.

"There are 1,500 pages of HIPAA regulations," said Katherine Paul, senior project manager of professional services at Compuware. "Many of the changes that are going to occur because of HIPAA are fundamental business changes."

Compuware, which is a Microsoft global partner, will use its software products and consulting services to deploy Microsofts BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA. Generally available for the first time next week, the BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA is an enterprise server with a continuously updateable product set, making new regulatory guides available rapidly after publication. It provides interoperability and integration between multiple platforms, interfaces and business processes not only to implement HIPPA standards quickly but also to keep them up-to-date.

Built into the HIPPA Accelerator is Washington Publishings OnlyConnect Gap Analysis Tool analysis software, which allows hospitals to compare HIPAA standards with legacy data to identify areas of non-compliance as regulations are updated. Washington Publishing is the exclusive publisher of HIPAA implementation guides.

"Because of the role that Washington Publishing plays in HIPAA, all of the [regulatory compliance] information is in their possession, and they will make sure that everything stays current and accurate," said Paul Toenjes, director of professional services at Compuware. "When theres a change in regulations, it will automatically be updates in the products that enable compliance."

Compuware touts the partnership as a unique benefit for helping healthcare organizations bypass the traditionally lengthy process of regulatory compliance assessment and planning. The Farmington Hills, Mich., company provides automated evaluation formats designed to drastically reduce the working hours and complexities of assessment.