Sample Hipaa Policies And Procedures – According to HIPAA Journal, approximately 20.2 million health records were breached in the first half of 2022 alone.
To reduce the number of data breaches and protect your protected health information (PHI), it is important that you comply with HIPAA regulations. HIPAA violations can not only damage your reputation and patient trust, they can also lead to costly fines that can hurt your bottom line.
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We’ll explain common HIPAA violations and penalties. We will also review cases that illustrate the importance of achieving and maintaining HIPAA compliance for organizations.
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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 1996 to simplify the administration of health care, prevent fraud, and protect patients’ personal medical information.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued regulations to help organizations meet these system requirements. These rules are explained below.
All covered entities (healthcare providers, health plans, and clearinghouses) and their business associates must comply with HIPAA regulations, including the five regulations above.
Failure to comply with any provision of these rules is a violation of HIPAA. In practice, a HIPAA violation is as simple as an employee leaving a customer’s medical record on their computer screen while they go get a cup of coffee.
If your organization discovers a data breach, you must notify affected individuals in writing within 60 days.
Ensure that employees do not send ePHI to their personal email accounts or remove ePHI from the healthcare facility.
Paper documents and electronic devices containing ePHI must be kept secure at all times to prevent unauthorized disclosure of PHI.
If the HIPAA consent form has expired, you must obtain a new form to disclose PHI to each person listed on the original form.
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Organizations subject to HIPAA conduct internal investigations and report any violations they discover. Employees also report HIPAA violations committed by themselves or their co-workers.
The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigates HIPAA complaints. OCR also conducts periodic audits of HIPAA-subject entities and their business associates. When a data breach occurs, OCR investigates cases with 500 or more records.
There are two types of HIPAA violations, civil and criminal. Penalties can include fines, corrective action plans or even time off.
OCR issues penalties for HIPAA violations. These vary depending on the nature of the crime and the offender’s knowledge of the crime. HIPAA violations may involve an individual’s PHI.
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Civil penalties are typically issued in cases where the wrongdoer did not know they were violating HIPAA.
In recent years, there have been many examples in the news of HIPAA violations. Even in cases of unintentional HIPAA violations, the consequences can be severe. Here are five HIPAA breach cases and lessons we can learn from each.
In 2020, OCR investigated a health insurance provider after hackers obtained the PHI of approximately 10.5 million people.
Hackers gained access to the provider’s computer system with a phishing email that installed malware. The malware gave the group access to ePHI, which remained undetected for 9 months.
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In 2018, the FBI discovered that one of the servers of a Tennessee-based medical imaging service company could access the Internet. Anyone can access and view the PHI of over 300,000 people with a simple search.
As a result of violating the False Claims Act, the company was ordered to pay $3 million in restitution and undergo a corrective action plan.
In 2017, a city reported a data breach when a terminated employee used his login credentials to access a work computer and copy ePHI data to a USB drive.
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OCR determined that the city failed to protect HIPAA privacy in several ways. The City did not remove the former employee’s credentials when they were fired. Additionally, employees are not provided with specific login credentials to identify system activity and interactions with ePHI.
The agency also failed to conduct a risk assessment to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities to the privacy, integrity and availability of EPHI.
As a result of that failure, the city paid more than $200,000 in fines and agreed to a remediation plan.
In 2015, the health system issued a press release in response to a police incident involving a patient. In the press release, the hospital system included the name of the patient.
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OCR determined that this failure was intentional to protect patient privacy. As a result, OCR ordered the health system to pay a $2.4 million penalty.
In 2015, OCR launched an investigation into a nonprofit academic health system after a reporter shared a photo on social media that included a patient’s medical history.
OCR fined hospital system $2.15 million for failing to detect theft and sale of patient information, failing to notify OCR of lost patient records, and failing to protect PHI disclosed to the media done
HIPAA violations are often caused by carelessness or ignorance of HIPAA regulations. Employers can avoid many headaches by providing proper HIPAA training to their employees.
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HIPAA non-compliance is not an option for organizations handling protected health information. However, it is not easy with the advancement of technology and structural changes.
Makes achieving HIPAA compliance quick and easy by simplifying the process into a few key steps.
This will allow you to focus on growing your business. Get in touch to learn how you can manage your HIPAA compliance today.
There are two types of HIPAA violations: civil and criminal. Most civil penalties are imposed in cases where the wrongdoer did not know they were violating HIPAA and may include fines and corrective action plans. Criminal penalties are typically imposed in cases where individuals obtain or use PHI without authorization and may include fines, corrective action plans, and jail time.
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Failure to comply with any provision of the HIPAA Security, Privacy, Consent Notice, Enforcement, or Omnibus Rules is a violation of HIPAA. All of the following qualify as HIPAA violations:
It is important to understand that some practices may qualify as HIPAA violations, even if no harm has been done to the patient. For example, if an employee leaves a customer’s medical record on their computer screen while going to get a cup of coffee, that would be considered a HIPAA violation.
It depends on the abuse. If a HIPAA breach results in millions of PHI records being exposed, it could affect patients. They may lose trust in your healthcare facility and go elsewhere, or they may experience identity theft as a result of information disclosure.
Your follow-up strategy should start with a thorough self-analysis. This will help you identify areas where your organization may be vulnerable to HIPAA violations.
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Failure to address the issues you identify is a violation of HIPAA. The next step should be to develop a comprehensive recovery plan. This plan should be documented and include a schedule for addressing compliance gaps.
Closures are not mandatory, but organizations that do not implement them should document the reasons. One reason may be that they have implemented an equally effective level of security to protect ePHI during storage and transmission.
Who Enacted HIPAA + How to Make Sure Your Business Is HIPAA Compliant: What’s Not Covered by the Privacy Act? Understanding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the steps required to pay can be difficult.
To help combat confusion and accurately gauge where your organization stands in its compliance programs, we’ve created a HIPAA Compliance Checklist.
Hipaa Compliance Checklist 2023
This list describes the key steps to take to properly secure patient information. Read on to understand the basics of HIPAA compliance and the steps required to prepare, achieve and maintain it.
HIPAA compliance is a process for storing and protecting sensitive patient information, known as protected health information, or PHI.
Complying with HIPAA is an ongoing process that includes implementing robust safeguards for data protection, employee training, risk assessment, reporting and more.
Do you have plans and procedures for notifying the appropriate parties in the event of a conflict?
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Do you have an emergency plan for responding to an emergency that damages systems or physical facilities containing PHI?
The Privacy Rule, Security Rule, and Acceptable Notice Rule outline the policies and procedures necessary to comply with HIPAA.
Organizations must create and implement policies and procedures that ensure that individual employees handle PHI securely in their day-to-day operations. This set may include a notice of privacy practices, an access management policy, a data storage and retention policy, a disaster recovery policy, and a response policy, among others.
The designated HIPAA Compliance Officer must maintain and document all policies and procedures for protecting PHI.
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A business partner is any person, provider, or organization that interacts with a healthcare organization’s PHI. Business Partner is responsible for protecting patient healthcare information as covered matter.
As set forth in the HIPAA Security Act, this is covered
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