HIPAA Compliance is a Business Decision

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with a technology vendor who is starting to move into the healthcare space. Their technology isn’t used in the creation or manipulation of patients’ protected health information (PHI), but they do store information on behalf of healthcare organizations that could potentially include PHI. They wanted to know, “Are we required to comply with HIPAA?” Technically – yes. On the other hand, there are hundreds of healthcare organizations and healthcare vendors who act ...

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 ...

HIPAA/HITECH, Is your practice compliant?

The new HIPAA/HITECH law has been in force for over two years.  However, most healthcare providers have yet to start addressing the new requirements.  It’s a daunting task for a risk assessment expert, professional project manager or even a CCO, CIO or COO, much less a practice manager.  There are various reasons for the delay: confusion, misinformation, cost and time. One of the most common sources of misinformation we've encountered in our clients is a belief that they are already in compliance!  ...

HHS Attorney says get ready for larger HIPAA fines

Ready to break the annual budget? If you are not HIPAA compliant and get caught, you are going to have to pony up even more money for HIPAA fines, predicts a high ranking Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) attorney! HHS Chief Regional Civil Rights Counsel Jerome Meites made the prediction at an American Bar Association conference on Thursday in Chicago. We have already seen record breaking fines handed out over the last year, which makes this even more shocking to the industry. Law360, t ...

Huge Rise in HIPAA Data Breaches

Based on Healthcare IT News' February article "HIPAA data breaches climb 138 percent", it is becoming clear that compliance fines may be the least of the concern for health related businesses. A lot of clients that we talk with are primarily concerned with making sure that they are meeting the requirements that HIPAA has brought. That is not to say they do not care about the personal data of their clients, they most certainly do. However with today's every changing landscape in technology, it is near imposs ...