Many health care providers, as well as health plans, that are protected by the HIPAA Rule must follow the requirements, and the date when compliance was required to begin is by 04/14/2003.
This rule, for the first time, makes worldwide values to safeguard patients’ medical documents and additional, private health data. HIPAA offer individuals additional control over their healthcare data, it establishes limitations on how the information is used or released, it creates proper protection measures that doctors and other healthcare providers must do to safeguard each patient’s health data and privacy.
Additionally, if a practice has a HIPAA violation, the business will be held accountable – the consequences could be either criminal or civil penalties. You can read more about what HIPAA does at hhs.gov.
What Could Happen When a Small Practice Violates HIPAA Laws/Rules Due to Inadequate IT Management and How Could the Small Practice Prevent this Situation from Occurring?
Besides a practice’s reputation, which is extremely important, other things could happen when HIPAA violations happen. A practice could incur big fines. Anthem, for example, in 2018, paid one of the largest settlements in history. The reason for this settlement was due to a huge cyber-attack, which occurred between 2014 & 2015.
According to Commins (2018), “Sadly, Anthem neglected to implement proper measures and controls for detecting risks – like hackers who got into Anthem’s system to gain individuals’ passwords and steal personal data. (commins. Para. 7. (2018))
If you are not sure if your small practice’s IT is secure, you might wish to consult with a professional, well-known IT management and security specialist. Once a practice violates HIPAA, even a small violation, it might already be too late, for many reasons – reputation-wise, financially, loss of clients, business closing, and so forth. If your IT is not secure enough, you might wish to outsource your IT to a company like Fastech.
Patients need to feel secure about their private health data, so it is important to make that the utmost priority for your health care practice. Make certain all materials are up-to-date, keep all manuals updated, and have yearly or quarterly (when necessary) HIPAA education meetings to avoid possible violations. Many violations can be easily vetoed by having HIPAA guidelines into practice policies/processes and guaranteeing that every employee with access to patients’ health data has been adequately trained and educated.
Let’s say that you are considering using I-Cloud, or you might already be using it. Are you sure it will protect private, vital patient data?
If you are not sure if your IT is secure enough and have questions or concerns about your IT and patients’ data being compromised, you might wish to contact an IT management and security company to get more answers and protect you, your small practice and your patients’ health care and private information.
This might be shocking to you, but there are violations happening every day. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, there is a list of all breaches that have occurred/been reported with the past 24 hours – updated daily.