HIPAA HITETCH Compliance Blog Archive
“We’re doing more investigations of smaller breaches … I think you’re going to see more of that in terms of entities with whom we enter corrective action plans,” reiterated Deven McGraw, Esq., OCR deputy director of health information privacy at the 88th annual American Health Information Management (AHIMA) conference held October 16-19 in Baltimore, MD
An up do date risk assessment is a key element in your MIPS Composite Performance Score. The MACRA Act which was passed with bilateral support in Congress uses the MIPS score to determine reimbursement for practices.
Leaving 31,800 patient records open and accessible on the Internet cost St Josephs Hospital a $7.5 million dollar settlement of a class action suit and a $2.145 million dollar fine from OCR. Quarterly risk assessments might have revealed the problem sooner or prevented it from happening at all.
HHS issued new guidelines for covered entities or business associates who use cloud computing to create, maintain, store, transfer, or process PHI. In a nutshell, every entity involved in the process must be HIPAA compliant even if the data is encrypted.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
"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.
Combining sophisticated Internet tools with experienced consultants can deliver a HIPAA risk assessment based on the NIST protocol quickly and at a reasonable cost.
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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."
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:
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
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.
Demonstrating progress is the key to HIPAA compliance. Periodic HIPAA risk assessments that meet the NIST protocol are the proof.
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.