AAPC leverages the cloud for secure file sharing, mobility and backup with SecuriSync® by Intermedia

The Background

Coding is used throughout the medical industry to transform diagnoses, procedures, services and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes. Coding professionals apply the correct codes during the medical billing process. Accurate coding is important to ensure revenue flow and in all aspects of record keeping: patient care, billing, insurance claims, regulatory compliance and reporting. However, coding is complicated and frequently changing, and professionals must go through extensive training, certification and continuing education.

As the largest training and credentialing organization for the healthcare industry, AAPC has provided education and professional certification to physician-based medical coders since 1988. More than 155,000 individual and institutional members look to AAPC for leadership in healthcare.

Company Profile:
AAPC is the largest training and credentialing organization for the healthcare industry

Industry: Healthcare

The Challenge

Upon joining AAPC, Chief Technology Officer, Brian Shellabarger, began evaluating solutions that would help AAPC modernize their file management and begin to leverage the cloud. At the same time, AAPC required a solution that enabled compliance with HIPAA regulations, including the handling of Protected Health Information (PHI).

“I saw we had an opportunity to use the cloud for our file management and improve operations – to begin to move off file servers, facilitate better sharing of files within the company and with business partners, and also backup data being stored directly on employees’ PCs,” says Shellabarger. “But we had to do so in a way that provided a high level of security, particularly because we manage PHI.”

There were a number of specific use cases Shellabarger was looking to address with a new file management solution:

  • Provide cloud-based PC backup for all computers to backup files and folders stored on individual laptop and desktop machines
  • Offer secure file transfer with external vendors and contractors for the exchange of PHI data, with the ability to track sharing events
  • Deliver secure access to files stored in the cloud, as well as from mobile devices – a feature that would allow AAPC to eventually replace their Windows® file servers

Additionally important was the ability to remotely wipe devices that are lost or stolen. “When dealing with PHI, there are serious consequences if the confidentiality of patient data is compromised. I needed to know we could quickly remove PHI from any device,” Shellabarger shared.

A final requirement was the ability to quickly restore to previous versions of files in case of a malware attack like ransomware. According to Shellabarger, “Being able to ‘push a button’ and roll back to uninfected versions was a must-have.”

The Solution

Shellabarger was familiar with SecuriSync® by Intermedia and began a trial of the service at AAPC. After evaluating SecuriSync against each of the use cases listed above, AAPC decided to move forward with a broad deployment for over 300 users. “SecuriSync checked all our boxes, and more. It combines both backup and file sharing together in a solution that’s easy for employees to use, but also includes the security and protection features that we required,” says Shellabarger. Especially critical to the decision was the audit log, which tracks when and with whom SecuriSync files and folders are being shared.

SecuriSync, like nearly all Intermedia services, is HIPAA compliant. “That Intermedia was able to sign a BAA with AAPC was a huge plus” for Shellabarger.

AAPC took a phased approach to rolling out SecuriSync for its employees. In the first phase, they deployed SecuriSync in a backup capacity. “Nobody has to do anything, but their files are being automatically backed up, whenever changes are made, even files stored on the desktop or in the My Documents folder,” said Shellabarger. They then let employees know that they could access SecuriSync files from mobile devices and the web. A number of departments have begun to collaborate with folder sharing, and the auditing division has set up secure folder sharing with external business partners.

Shellabarger added, “Our employees really like SecuriSync, and because it’s so easy to use we’ve been able to transition them off less secure, consumer-grade file sync and share services like Dropbox®.” Shellabarger expects to be able to fully replace file servers several months in the near future, as well as be able to migrate off other solutions being used for endpoint backup, file sync and share, and file transfer throughout the enterprise.  He estimates SecuriSync will eventually save AAPC $200,000 annually as a replacement for other file management services.

Our employees really like SecuriSync, and because it’s so easy to use we’ve been able to transition them off less secure, consumer-grade file sync and share services like Dropbox®.

Brian Shellabarger,
Chief Technology Officer, AAPC

Products They Use

SecuriSync is either a trademark or registered trademark of Intermedia.net, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Dropbox is a trademark of Dropbox, Inc.

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