Mass. health care providers opt for PKI
- By Daniel Keegan
- May 10, 2000
As part of a pilot program that has the health care industry attempting
to make better use of the Internet, the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium
has chosen digital signature software to secure its electronic messages
The public-key infrastructure software, provided by Baltimore Technologies
PLC, uses two keys one held by the sender, who encrypts the message or
document, and another used to unencrypt it in order to verify that a document
came from the correct person and was not altered in transit.
The software will be used for confidential information such as claims decision,
authorizations for inpatient and outpatient services and contracting issues.
The pilot program, called HealthKey, is designed to
increase the health care industry's level of service. Its goals are to use
information technology to aggregate data, coordinate systems and reduce
administrative costs and improve the efficiency and quality of the industry's
The first step in the program is to ensure that using the Internet does
not jeopardize a patient's privacy. Thus, the consortium chose Baltimore
Technologies' UniCERT Options PKI Hosting to secure the pilot network program.
The Massachusetts consortium, which includes four providers (Blue Cross/Blue
Shield of Massachusetts, Tufts Health Plan, Children's Hospital and Care
Group Inc.), and other organizations in Washington, Utah, Minnesota and
North Carolina are taking part in the program.
Through the pilot program, the members hope to learn about what levels of
security, types of controls and technologies are appropriate and necessary
for the industry.
Baltimore Technologies, a worldwide company operating from more than 20
cities, develops security products and services for the Internet