Help with HIPAA compliance, quick patient payments, patient-provider communications and scheduling are among new products that information technology vendors have recently introduced:

* Kroll Advisory Solutions has a new risk assessment tool to aid business associates and subcontractors in complying with requirements under the final HIPAA privacy/security/breach/enforcement rule published in January. The rule makes business associates and subcontractors comply with HIPAA rules in the same manner covered entities must, and directly liable for HIPAA violations. The new tool guides an organization through identifying vulnerabilities within their administrative, physical and technical security safeguards, and also helps identify privacy improvements, according to the vendor.

* Claims clearinghouse ZirMed has introduced software, called Patient Estimation, to enable a provider to determine a patient’s financial responsibility at the time of service. The vendor primarily uses data already in its national database to provide the estimate. The Web-based software is accessible via an Internet browser.

* Assurance Wireless and Gold Mobile are offering a mobile phone for Medicaid beneficiaries and other low-income patients to enable two-way secure messaging with their health care providers. Assurance Wireless, a unit of Sprint, participates in the federal Lifeline Assistance program to provide mobile phone services to low-income individuals. The company offers a free phone with 250 free minutes and 250 free texts a month. Now, it will offer Gold Mobile’s GoMo Chat Secure messaging service for health care communications.

* McKesson Corp. now offers a mobile app to access its ANSOS One-Staff scheduling software for provider organizations. The Android app, called ANSOS2GO, is available for free at the Google Play store. It enables users to view their calendars and daily work assignments from a phone or tablet. Managers can view where employees are scheduled to work and send an email or text by tapping on a person’s name. Maine Medical Center is an early adopter of the app.

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