The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA is a US law designed to provide privacy standards for patients’ medical records and health information. It was enacted to protect the patient as well as medical institutions and health care providers.
HIPPA standards provide patients access to their medical records, give them more control over how their personal health information is used and determines who can view and read personal health facts and figures.
HIPAA is a federal floor or privacy protection for consumers and defines specific rules to protect the privacy and security of health information for individuals. Failure to comply with HIPAA requirements or violations of HIPPA law can result in criminal as well as civil penalties and progressive disciplinary actions. Violations and penalties apply to both individuals and health care concerns.
There are four categories of violations that reflect penalties. Each category carries a certain type of penalty with the highest violation carrying a maximum penalty amount of $1.5 million. Knowingly violating HIPAA regulations can carry criminal charges resulting in jail sentences.
What are HIPPA Violations?
Violations include storing patients’ data where it is not encrypted or protected. These trespasses caused data to be stolen or lost. The majority of data breaches are due to unencrypted or non-secured data.
Fines and penalties materialize when employees mistakenly send PHI (private HIPPA information on patients) to vendors who post private medical information. These suppliers include insurance companies, third party medical companies like blood labs, and other medical professionals.
Pick your business partners very carefully. Many sensitive data breaches and HIPAA violations involve third parties. In other words, you assigned a covered function or activity to someone who was supposed to store and protect patient data, but they lost or misused the data.
HIPPA violations include data losses due to employees disclosing personally identifiable and sensitive information on patients in public forums or on social media platforms.
Many data breaches that cause HIPAA penalties are the result of theft. Laptops, desktops, and backup discs that store unencrypted data are often stolen by unscrupulous people who are attempting to steal patient's identities. These losses can cause a business to be fined a great deal of money or up to $1.5 million in a calendar year.
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- Unknowingly violating HIPAA rules, and you can prove you were unaware of the rule, will bring your fines of $100 to $50,000 per violation.
- Ignoring HIPAA security rules will result in fines of $1,000 to $50,000.
- Willful neglect, but you corrected the problems will still result in $10,000 to $50,000 in fines per violation.
- Willful neglect continued and not corrected will bring you a penalty of $50,000 per infraction.
Avoid violations that cause penalties, by revisiting revisit your company’s HIPPA compliance programs. Train your employees to protect patient information, encrypt data, and ensure that everyone connected to your medical business is aware of HIPPA laws. If you can show that you are trying to make reasonable efforts to comply with HIPAA rules, you may not be fined the first time you suffer a violation.
Ekran System can help you to fulfill HIPAA requirements and avoid corresponding penalties. Our solution provides video recording of all user actions in your IT infrastructure and complement them with detailed log, which makes every action that could affect sensitive data visible. Learn more about achieving compliance with Ekran System.