Latest HIPAA Violation Affects Phoenix Based PracticeApril 25, 2012
On April 19, 2012 the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reported that a Phoenix based cardiology practice has agreed to pay HHS a $100,000 settlement for violations of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.
What is alarming about this particular case is that a protected health information (PHI) breach was not the reason for this violation. The key driver of this HIPAA violation involved the physician practice posting clinical and surgical appointments for its patients on an Internet-based calendar that was not secured thus publicly available. And to add insult to injury, the OCR investigation also found that the practice had implemented few policies and procedures to comply with the HIPAA rules and it had limited safeguards in place to protect patients’ PHI.
Also See: Five Best Practices For Medical Organizations To Protect Against PHI Breaches
The compliance shortfalls that this Phoenix based practice experienced reflects the global challenge and opportunity most medical practices and organizations face today in complying with HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. One effective way for medical organizations to effectively minimize their risk of HIPAA violations is to seriously consider partnering with an outside Health IT firm that can provide support and expertise to address any and all compliance gaps. Far too often, internal IT professionals are so focused on day-to-day operations and solving computer / network related problems, that developing and managing HIPAA compliance and security processes and routines falls below their radar. Having an outside Health IT partner offers medical organizations an unbiased fresh set of eyes to evaluate vulnerabilities and mitigate any and all security risks across the entire enterprise.
Leon Rodriguez, director of OCR said, “We hope that healthcare providers pay careful attention to this resolution agreement and understand that the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules have been in place for many years, and OCR expects full compliance no matter the size of a covered entity.”
Click here: Phoenix practice to pay $100,000 to settle HIPAA case to get all the details surrounding this case.
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