HIPAA: $3 billion opportunity

Information technology firms could rake in $3 billion helping state governments comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, according to the market research firm Input Inc. of Chantilly Va.

States are expected to issue solicitations this year for a wide range of IT services, including analysis, planning, system design, implementation, policy oversight and maintenance, said Meredith Luttner, Input's manager of state and local databases.

"Most states are coming to realize they cannot complete all the work internally, especially considering the approaching compliance deadline ... and are looking to outsource the work," Luttner said, referring to the Oct. 16 deadline for the electronic data interchange rules.

HIPAA legislation is designed to protect personal health information. The regulations apply to any organization that deals with health data and requires governments and private health care providers to comply with new processes for storing and transmitting that information.

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