HITRUST, a coalition of industry stakeholders collaborating to better secure protected health information, has launched a Community Extension Program enabling providers and payers in geographic regions across the nation to work with each other on effectively implementing a risk management program and developing best data security practices.

The program includes free town hall events to facilitate collaboration in more than 50 cities during the next 12 months, starting in Boston on September 14. Future meetings will be in Houston, Denver, Dallas, Cleveland, Seattle and Pittsburgh with dates soon to be finalized and listed here. More town halls will be added based on demand.

Information technology vendors, insurers and consultancies sponsoring these initial events include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Coalfire, Beyond LLC, Highmark and Meditology.

See Also: Small providers now can seek HITRUST security certification

“The importance of improving the overall cyber resilience of organizations cannot be overstated,” says Taylor Lehmann, chief information security officer at Tufts Medical Center, which encouraged HITRUST to launch the program. “Although it is a difficult goal, HITRUST provides a number of programs that make the goal achievable and sharing best practices, lessons learned and remediation strategies will make the community stronger.”

HITRUST offers a certification program, known as the Common Security Framework, enabling healthcare organizations to demonstrate adoption of and compliance of best practices with the framework’s guidance and applications.

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