Andy Atwal
September 14, 2022

The Gist

Andy Atwal, co-founder and VP of engineering at AKASA, shares how the company prioritizes data security and privacy and what AKASA’s recent achievement of earning HITRUST Certification — the gold standard in the healthcare industry — means for the company and its clients.

Data plays a vital role in our work at AKASA — without it, we wouldn’t be able to provide the leading-edge automation that allows healthcare providers across the United States to streamline their operations.

We understand the importance and sensitivity of the patient data we touch as part of the revenue cycle. At AKASA, we take security — and in turn the security of our clients and their patients — very seriously. By making it our top priority, we protect not only our business but also the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of protected health information (PHI).

To protect our clients’ data at all costs, our security infrastructure is HIPAA-compliant and built upon on a foundation of the highest industry security standards, including SOC 2 Type 2 and NIST Cyber Security Framework.

Now, we’re happy to announce we are also HITRUST certified — a certification that is considered the gold standard in the healthcare industry and one of the most difficult to achieve.

What Is HITRUST and Why Is It Important?

HITRUST is an extensive framework created by security industry experts, covering 19 different domains related to security and risk. These domains involve vulnerability management, network and transmission protection, third party assurance, risk and incident management, audit logging and monitoring, and more.

As one of the most extensive and robust certifications, HITRUST reconciles a variety of relevant regulations and standards into one single overarching security and privacy framework — combining HIPAA with other data security standards, such as HITECH, NIST, ISO, PCI, FTC, COBIT, and GDPR.

Thanks to the overlap HITRUST requirements have with other certifications, we were also able to achieve the above mentioned SOC 2 Type 2 and NIST Cyber Security Framework certifications — further proving our commitment to complying with the highest security and privacy standards in the world.

HITRUST is the second-most adopted security framework in healthcare. By following it, we’re showing a large audience of providers how seriously we take security.

We’re happy to have achieved this important certification, allowing us to ensure appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards are in place to keep our clients’ data secure.

How Does HITRUST Impact AKASA and Its Clients?

Having earned this HITRUST certification not only allows us to provide value to a larger customer base — i.e. serve the health systems and hospitals that require HITRUST — but also provide value to them faster by showing evidence of our compliance with HIPAA-mandated security controls from the onset.

Our clients can enjoy peace of mind that their sensitive data is secure, allowing them to confidently implement AKASA’s automation for their complex revenue cycle workflows.

The HITRUST certification will also help ensure we continue to act as good stewards of our customer’s PHI by having appropriate — and third-party-approved — internal processes and controls in place.

For example, we established a dedicated compliance team and formed the “AKASA Security Committee” to address the complex requirements needed for the certifications. Now, these teams will continue to uphold our security infrastructure to the highest standards.

I’m incredibly proud of our team at AKASA for achieving this important milestone. The process required a lot of cross-functional effort and dedication — from implementing new technologies to facilitating broader organizational changes.

Obtaining these security certifications reaffirms AKASA’s commitment to adopting and exceeding industry-leading standards and, ultimately, enables us to stand out as a top technology provider for healthcare providers.

Andy Atwal

Andy Atwal is the vice president of engineering and co-founder of AKASA. Prior to AKASA, Atwal served in senior product management and operations roles and was the founding software engineer at Counsyl, a health technology company that offers DNA screening for diseases that can impact women, men, and their children. He has a degree in computer science from UC Berkeley.

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