Is HIPAA Worth It?

HIPAA is yet another government mandate for American healthcare businesses to address.  We all know it's time consuming, requires a lot of effort to learn, stay current on and to implement.  Plus, it's costly.  But, is it worth it?  Does it truly help the covered entity or business associate in the long run.  You might be surprised by the answer. The simple answer is ABSOLUTELY. First, let's look at HIPAA goals. Basic Goals of HIPAA Portability: To allow patients to transfer their records ...

Advocate Health Care Fined $5.5 Million for HIPAA Violations

Advocate Health Care Network, of Illinois, reported three breaches in 2013.  Four desktop computers containing approximately four million patients' ePHI.    The OCR stated "This significant settlement, the largest to-date against a single entity, is a result of the extent and duration of the alleged noncompliance (dating back to the inception of the Security Rule in some instances), the involvement of the State Attorney General in a corresponding investigation, and the large number of individuals wh ...

Third Rock Announces CompassDB™ – A Comprehensive Compliance Management Platform

Austin, TX, - Aug. 3, 2016 – Third Rock, provider of HIPAA Worry-Free Compliance™, announced CompassDB™ their compliance management platform.  CompassDB™ is designed to significantly reduce the cost and burden of HIPAA compliance for all parties involved.  Consulting firms who provide compliance services, and the clients, Covered Entities and Business Associates on which HIPAA regulations are focused, all will benefit. CompassDB™ is a cloud solution that provides safe, secure, web based s ...

Focus on Security: Phishing for Malware

85 percent of organizations have suffered phishing attacks! That is straight from the Wombat 2016 State of the Phish report.  Is that depressing or what!  The sad thing is, phishing can be thwarted most of the time.  But, it requires diligent training of your ENTIRE staff.  Including the board members, owners, executives and doctors.  Everyone needs to be trained to identify phishing attacks and resist opening the link and/or attachment. A few stats from the report. 85% of organizations ...

HHS Releases New Guidance on Ransomware

One of the top newsmakers of 2016 has been ransomware.  During the first half of this year, ransomware grew 300% to 4,000 daily attacks! But several high profile attacks of hospitals really put it in the spotlight.  Although it has been around for several decades, in the past 4 years, Russian groups have further developed its capabilities and propagated its use worldwide. The dark web or darknet also significantly contributed to the increase in ransomware attacks due to its black market for such products. ...

HIPAA Crossword Puzzle

HIPAA Crossword Puzzle Third Rock We thought it might be good to have you learn more about HIPAA through a challenging crossword puzzle. We hope you enjoy completing the puzzle and learn a little about HIPAA in the process.  You can click the image below to download the PDF version and print it off. Answers Across: 2. PHI 3. backups 5. ice cream 6. HIPAA 8. risk assessment 10. covered entities 12. disaster recovery 15. PII 17. cyber breach 20. cyber security 21. audit 22. lemonade ...

Focus on Security: It’s going to take more resources

No one wants to spend money for something they don't want or need.  Many companies, including the healthcare industry, try to squeeze IT when it comes to the budget.  But what most CFO's and executives that control the IT budget need to understand is, they have become a digital business, at least in the back office. Everything is now done on the computer.  Therefore, there must be an increase in resources to keep the computers up-to-date, secure and operating at acceptable levels. With cyber criminals ...

Insider Breaches – A Risk that Shouldn’t be Overlooked

With all the headlines on cyber breaches and the cyber criminals trying to break into your digital environment, you may overlook a common and very real threat.  Accenture's recent security report said 69% of the people surveyed had experienced an insider attempt or success at data theft or corruption.  Many of the other cyber reports show the same types of stats.  It is reasonable to anticipate someone inside your organization may be planning or is actively stealing your company’s proprietary infor ...

Using Caution with Email Attachments

Email is a way of life in most business and is often one of those tools we take for granted. We all feel the pain when it is down as for many it is a key part of their job. It's also an extremely powerful tool that allows us to not only send and receive messages and meeting request, but also attachments. This is where email becomes dangerous to both you and your organization. Most organizations take some level of effort to protect the computer and network from these potentially dangerous attachments wit ...

Cyber-breaches: Don’t Lie to Yourself

We've heard many arguments for not addressing your HIPAA compliance by healthcare covered entities. Honestly, it's appalling to think a person that provides care to people doesn't care about protecting that person's personal information to prevent their customer from experiencing emotional and financial suffering and potential ruin.  The first issue for the healthcare covered entity is to understand it's not about the HIPAA audit but about being breached, losing ePHI and then being forced to be audit ...

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