Virtually no payers in a HIPAA readiness survey conducted in December by Gartner Inc., Stamford, Conn., indicated they had completed their selection of technology tools to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.But insurance companies are implementing privacy and security tools for their Web-based applications, and these tools will factor into their HIPAA privacy and security assessments.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, for example, has a C2 security classification, which is required to handle its military TRICARE contracts. When the insurer was assessed by an outside firm in 2000 for HIPAA compliance, it was found to be very close to complying with HIPAA's proposed security rules at that time, says Jim Daley, HIPAA program director at the Columbia, S.C.-based company.

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