Attorney Warns US Healthcare Clinics Not To Ignore HIPAA

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HIPAA ComplianceGovernment scrutiny and fines are on the way up for healthcare organizations or those companies/organizations servicing healthcare who elect to ignore HIPAA or who are only partially compliant.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) requires that “covered entity” and healthcare organizations maintain the privacy of personal health information. Covered Entities may include healthcare providers, health plans and health clearing houses and their business associates.

If you see, store or use a persons healthcare information then it is better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you follow the HIPAA rules or else says a partner at Philadelphia-based Ezold Law. Ezold focuses on business, employment and healthcare law.

In an article released earlier this year in healthcareitnews.com, Ezold warns that while enforcement of PHI rules have been lax in the past, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently stepped up their enforcement and have imposed millions of dollars in fines against companies found in violation of HIPAA.

Smaller employers are finding themselves on the receiving end of HIPAA audits. Now is a good time to review all your information technology and HIPAA compliance programs to make sure all required safeguards are in place.

This includes your computer network. The HHS’s Federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has stepped up HIPAA audits including “covered entities”. Significant monetary fines have been levied up to millions of dollars for what appeared to be small issues.

We recommend having our team of IT professionals review your IT systems to make sure all healthcare information and access to healthcare information is secured. You must take the steps to ensure everything is protected and conduct due diligence to make sure any or all potential security gaps are filled, including remote access, access controls, encryption and backup systems.

Do you have questions about your level of HIPAA readiness? Give our team of IT specialists a call and we can work with you to make sure from the IT side, everything is reviewed and the right protection systems are in place.

Alexssa

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