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Cloud computing enables organizations of all types and sizes to operate more efficiently by allowing them to quickly and cost effectively outsource the operation and maintenance of their IT systems. However, the adoption of cloud computing appears to have been slower in the health care industry than in other sectors. While there is no single reason for this lag, concerns around whether cloud providers can comply with the stringent privacy and security regulations in the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA) have affected the adoption of cloud services in this particular industry. Under HIPAA, health care providers, health plans and other “covered entities” are required to maintain the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI).

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