Note:As of this writing the final wording of the HIPAA regulation is still in flux. However, the essential characteristics of the regulation should be as described here. No significant changes are anticipated.The final version of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 will be published soon. Among other things, HIPAA requires broad security and disaster recovery protection for “individually identifiable healthcare information”. Healthcare organizations, and those companies that serve them, now fall into the same category of business as banks, in that there is a federal agency that demands certain security and disaster recovery standards. The Gartner Group has estimated that HIPAA will be the single greatest IT driver in the healthcare industry for the next three years. Some estimate that the cost to the healthcare industry will be three times the cost of Y2K.