Security, Compliance Remain Top Concerns for Government Healthcare Providers

With FedRAMP and HITRUST certifications, Rackspace offers government agencies the assurance and security of certified risk-based compliance solutions.

At the annual HIMSS conference next week, healthcare practitioners and IT providers will come together to help determine where the healthcare segment of the IT industry is headed this year.

Conference organizers say this year’s focus will be on “holistic healthcare cybersecurity,” and it’s no wonder — patient health data remains the proverbial pot of gold for hackers, providing a wealth of information that can be misappropriated by criminals. Meanwhile, cyberattacks continue to rise — a staggering 320 percent between 2015 and 2016.

Click to learn more about safeguarding patient health information.

These threats make it critical that IT service providers subscribe to security and compliance certifications that are focused on protecting patient health information. HIMSS serves as an annual proving ground for many of these solutions.

As a member of the Rackspace Government Solutions team, I’ll be there to share the work Rackspace has done and the capabilities we’ve added in the last year to serve the healthcare industry, and more specifically, healthcare within the government sector.

Government sector healthcare solutions

With the recent acquisition of Datapipe, Rackspace now has the capability to offer fully managed, high-security, FedRAMP-JAB authorized and FISMA compliant infrastructure and cloud platform services. Datapipe has been providing this proven healthcare IT hosting and cloud solution to the Department of Health and Human Services, Veterans Administration, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration — so we’re very familiar with government healthcare’s specific needs and challenges.

Rackspace is so focused on solving challenges for the healthcare sector within government that we’ve assembled expert teams to create even more specific, cloud-centric solutions to solve this niche sector’s toughest challenges, such as big data analytics and security and compliance readiness.

HITRUST certified

Rackspace is HITRUST certified

This builds on the healthcare-specific security work Rackspace completed last year, when we achieved HITRUST certification, which offers a higher level of security than HIPPA compliance. According to the Health Information Trust Alliance (the body that certifies HITRUST) 84 percent of hospitals and healthcare organizations rely on the certification to protect patient data.

This year we’ve built on our initial certification, becoming one of the first companies to participate in the HITRUST Inheritance program. This means Rackspace can now offer organizations seeking their own HITRUST certification the ability to inherit shared controls with the click of a button, at no additional cost. This can dramatically reduce third party assessment organization costs and time to market.

Managing critical infrastructure

In addition to HITRUST, Rackspace offers a number of security-focused solutions to specifically address your organization’s needs beyond HITRUST. That focus has allowed us to partner with an increasing number of organizations large and small with healthcare-specific compliance requirements, such as the National Kidney Registry, which relies on Rackspace to keep its critical infrastructure running and manage its security and monitoring services — so it can focus on saving lives, ensuring kidney donors get efficiently matched with recipients.

Keep legacy investments

For organizations contemplating a move to the cloud, legacy licensing expenditures often need to be taken into consideration. With our colocation services and our VMware software defined data centers (SDDC), those investments don’t have to be left behind. VMware SDDC allows customers to take advantage of our single-tenant environment built to address the demanding data and privacy requirements of the healthcare industry, and certified by the Health Information Trust Alliance.

Rackspace can also help organizations with HIPAA compliance requirements. We’re already recognized by Gartner as a HIPAA-ready cloud service provider with more than 3,000 healthcare customers. This year we launched Encrypted Exchange, a secure hosted email platform that helps healthcare-related businesses achieve HIPAA compliance and safeguarding patient and practice data. Encrypted Exchange gives organizations control over how data is shared via email, both internally and externally.

We look forward to helping solve your healthcare and government IT challenges. If you are attending the HIMSS conference and would like to connect, or if you have additional questions about how Rackspace HITRUST and HIPAA compliant hosting can help your organization, please e-mail

Jeff Valdes supports Rackspace Government Solutions, responsible for state and local government strategy and business development. Prior to joining Rackspace in 2012, he spent five years as a technology consultant to the Department of Defense, supporting various agencies including a number of military health organizations. Prior to that, he spent eight years on active duty as a Navy pilot. Jeff has an MA in IT Technology Management from Webster University and a BA in business from Cedarville University.