HIPAA HITETCH Compliance Blog Archive

Outdated BA Agreements: $400,000 Fine

Old business associate agreements cost Care New England Health System, Providence, R.I. a $400,000 fine.  Business associate agreements need to be updated to reflect current law plus you need to get "suitable assurances" that they are compliant.

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Fifty Ways to Lose Your Lover or PHI

Getting chosen for a HIPAA audit by HHS is a longer shot than winning the lottery, but there are other ways; lose a laptop, click on the wrong email link, sign a business associate agreement, expose PHI on the internet, toss paper records in the dumpster, etc., etc.

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HIPAA Certification: Quarterly Risk Assessment

A quarterly risk assessment showing progress on compliance is your best HIPAA certification.  Progress not perfection is what HHS and OCR seek and a quarterly risk assessment is the best certfication of progress.

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OCR Steps Up Investigation of Smaller HIPAA Breaches

Beginning this month, OCR, through the continuing hard work of its Regional Offices, (my emphasis) has begun an initiative to more widely investigate the root causes of
breaches affecting fewer than 500 individuals.  OCR-Announcement-8-18-16.pdf

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Business Associate Exposes 650,000 Patient Records

In a breach reminiscent of the Anthem HIPAA breach, a business associate left 650,000 patient records exposed on the Internet.  R-C Healthcare Management a business associate of Bon Secour was adjusting their network settings and left the patient records exposed from April 18 through April 21.

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Cybercriminals are after your HIPAA data

Almost 30% of health care data breaches in July attributed to cybercriminals, according to Health IT Smart Brief.  Many of these records were posted on the dark net for sale by The Dark Overlord.

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HIPAA Audits and Penalties for Business Associates

Huge fines and audits are the signal that HIPAA compliance is entering a new era for business associates.  A $650,000 fine was assessed for a business associate that lost an unencrypted and non-password protected I-Phone and the audit letters are on their way.

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Revitalize Your HIPAA Program with a Risk Assessment

HIPAA compliance can be like an old battery that just loses it's spark over time.  A risk assessment can help you Jumpstart that old tired HIPAA battery

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Sorry Laura and ecfirst, Still No HIPAA Certification

"We are very excited about the recertification by ecfirst,” said Laura Huska, Head of IT. “HIPAA continues to be a critical certification for ISI as many of our healthcare clients rely on this standard to meet their compliance needs when using ISI’s UC Reporting application.”   Sorry Laura, there is no such thing as HIPAA certification thus no HIPAA recertification.

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Automated Risk Assessment: Best Value

Combining sophisticated Internet tools with experienced consultants can deliver a HIPAA risk assessment based on the NIST protocol quickly and at a reasonable cost.  

"Automated HIPAA Risk Assessment "
Thu, Jun 9, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PDT
1. Click the link to join the webinar at the specified time and date:
https://global.gotowebinar.com/eojoin/8852590702394920194/4062226347872620034

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No BA Agreement: $750,000 Fine

An orthopedic clinic failed to get a BA agreement before sharing PHI with a business associate and got a $750,000 fine.  Jocelyn Samuels, director of OCR, said in the statement. "It is critical for entities to know to whom they are handing PHI and to obtain assurances that the information will be protected."

 

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Ransomware is a HIPAA Breach

A recent article in Health IT Security made the point that crminal control of PHI is a HIPAA breach and that in ramsomware that occurs.  Here is the full article:

http://healthitsecurity.com/news/why-healthcare-ransomware-attacks-are-hipaa-data-breaches 

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HIPAA Audit Questionnaire

If you were lucky enough to not receive one, here is the questionnaire that is going out to all potential audit winners.  http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/compliance-enforcement/audit/questionnaire/index.html 

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The BA Agreement Is Not Sufficient for "Satisfactory Assurances"

Just getting your business associates to sign a BA agreement is not enough.  You need "satisfactory assurances" such as documented HIPAA security awareness training, to protect you.

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Progress Key To HIPAA Compliance

Demonstrating progress is the key to HIPAA compliance.  Periodic HIPAA risk assessments that meet the NIST protocol are the proof.

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25% of Providers Audited for MU Compliance in Midwest, will Fail

Figliozzi has just started desk audits in the Midwest for covered entities who received meaningful use funds.  25% of providers audited for MU compliance in the past have failed.  A frequent cause is lack of an updated risk assessment meeting HHS standards.

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OCR says: Comprehensive HIPAA Risk Assessment Required

OCR Director, Jocelyn Samuels, reinforced the need for an enterprise-wide assessment when she stated, “[a]ll too often we see covered entities with a limited risk analysis that focuses on a specific system such as the electronic medical record or that fails to provide appropriate oversight and accountability for all parts of the enterprise.” 

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How to Get HIPAA Compliant In 3 Days

To get HIPAA compliant in three days and prove it, you need; a risk assessment, updated policies, and documented staff training, which can be done with the investment of  a few hundred dollars and a few hours over three days.

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Covered Entities and Business Associates Linked in Audits

If a covered entity is audited, their business associates will be included in the audit, and if the business associate fails, so does the covered entity.

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Accreditation Does Not Equal HIPAA

Lincare, an accredited DME company was just hit with a civil penalty for non-compliance with HIPAA.  This sounds a warning that compliance with one standard does not necessarily equal compliance with another standard.

 

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