Between January and May of 2016, 2,136,810 patient records we stolen and exposed in the United States. This exposure of patient health information can be blamed on security breaches, but do you know what constitutes a breach and how do you move forward if one happens?
A security breach is defined as the “acquisition, access, use or disclosure of protected health information in a manner not permitted which compromises the security or privacy of the protected health information.” Most people probably think breaches occur when their system is hacked but in reality it can happen numerous ways including:
These breaches can occur by simply sending a fax or email to the wrong person, leaving your computer in your car and it’s stolen, or even opening an email with ransomware. That’s why it’s imperative for employees to be properly trained and to keep records of their training which can be done using HIPAAwise™ - The van Halem Group Solution.
But on the unfortunate chance a breach happens to your organization what are the steps you need to take in order to mitigate the situation?
Being aware and up to date with HIPAA compliance is critical no matter what sector of healthcare you work in. The proper education is key for keeping yourself and team up to date in an ever changing field. Learn more about the benefits of training and awareness concerning HIPAA.
As the saying goes, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Here at HIPAAwise, we’re firm believers of learning from history and taking that knowledge and using it to your advantage.
As you work to become HIPAA compliant you may wonder what you could be fined for or how patient health information could be involved in a breach. We understand HIPAA compliance can be confusing at times, and something may be overlooked which could be the difference between being fined and being in compliance.
To better help others understand, we have provided resources to review all HIPAA Fines imposed from 2015 to current. The most recent fines include the mishandling of patient information, the lack of understanding of HIPAA compliance, and no audit controls when employees are terminated or leave the company. To see the full list of the Office of Civil Rights click here. The settlement will take you to the Health Information Privacy for a longer description of the violation.
In 2016, the number of security breaches increased 40 percent of over 2015. Breaches occur every day including, loss, theft, hacking or IT incidents and unauthorized access to patient information. Employees should be properly trained to help prevent breaches including but not limited to, knowing not to click on links from email addresses they aren’t familiar with, properly disposing of patient records, and working with business associates to ensure all policies and procedures are being followed properly. To view the list of Office of Civil Rights Breach Report, click here. Due to the sheer amount of breaches, you can filter by the type of breach in the top left hand corner.
If you’re looking to avoid situations found within the resources, sign up for a free trial with us. Our system is easy to use, and will take you beyond the four fundamentals of HIPAA, to ensure HIPAA compliance is met. If you have more questions please contact us here.
The Four Fundamentals of HIPAA
In 2015, the Office of Civil Rights issued $6 million in fines. In 2016, that number increased to $23 million, a 283 percent jump. So far in 2017, they have issued $17 million in fines with the projection of upward growth.
Why are all these fines being issued? Lack of a HIPAA compliance program for businesses. Most fines stem from not understanding and implementing the four fundamentals of HIPAA listed below. If you think those numbers seem like a good reason to get your business on track to be HIPAA compliant, you’re right. Read about the four fundamental steps to get your business on the track.
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