President Trump yesterday signed into law a bill (H.R. 7898) containing provisions that require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to consider certain recognized cybersecurity best practices when making determinations against HIPAA-covered entities and business associates victimized by a cyberattack.

For example, the bill recognizes cybersecurity practices established under the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act and approaches established under Section 405(d) of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 by the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council (HSCC) Working Group, whose members include the AHA.

The HSCC expressed strong support for the provisions. The legislation cleared the Senate by unanimous consent on Dec. 19.  

“This law will have long lasting positive impact for the entire health care sector in securing patient data and protecting patients from cyber risks,” said John Riggi, AHA senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk. “The law provides the right balance of incentivizing voluntary, enhanced cybersecurity protocols in exchange for regulatory relief and recognition that breached organizations are victims, not the perpetrators.”

For more on this and other cybersecurity and risk issues, hospital and health system leaders may contact Riggi at jriggi@aha.org.

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