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HIPAA Violations You May Not Have Thought of and How to Prevent Them

March 6, 2019

While the news is full of high-profile HIPAA breach cases and assessments of multi-million-dollar fines, smaller practices are not immune. They often succumb to the same types of error and bad judgment that affect larger providers. Fortunately, by following a few sensible guidelines, even smaller practices can safeguard themselves against the improper disclosure of protected health information (PHI) that leads to a HIPAA breach.

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Filed under: Privacy & HIPAA, Article, Practice Manager, Public Relations & Communication

Misdelivered Email Results in a HIPAA Data Breach

June 14, 2018

A common scenario in email security breaches is seen when a billing service sends a bill to an incorrect email address. In most practice arrangements, a third-party billing company will have signed a business associate agreement. According to HIPAA, business associates must inform covered entities when they discover a security breach; however, HHS gives covered entities and business associates flexibility in defining, in the business associate agreements, how and when a business associate should notify the covered entity of a potential breach.1 Consider the following case. (Please note that the following case focuses on the clinic’s responsibility to analyze the risk and perform the breach notification, even though the breach was caused by a business entity.)

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Filed under: Digital Health, Privacy & HIPAA, Cybersecurity, Case Study, Practice Manager, Information Security

Case Study Comparison: HIPAA Data Breaches and PHI on Stolen Laptops

June 14, 2018

According to HHS data, more than a third of all data breaches reported through 2017 involved a laptop, desktop, or mobile device.1 Compare Cases One and Two, and consider how better security practices protected the covered entity in Case Two.

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Filed under: Digital Health, Privacy & HIPAA, Cybersecurity, Case Study, Practice Manager, Information Security

Employee Voyeurism Leads to a HIPAA Data Breach

June 14, 2018

Employees access PHI for various illegitimate reasons. Including error and misuse, 71% of all cyber incidents in healthcare have an insider source1— the only industry that has more internal sources than external. Although the following case study involves only one patient, the covered entity was required to complete a data breach analysis and notify the patient and HHS.

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Filed under: Digital Health, Privacy & HIPAA, Cybersecurity, Case Study, Practice Manager, Information Security

Mobile Device Policies for Preventing HIPAA Data Breaches

June 14, 2018

Creating mobile device policies can be tricky. Burdensome security policies and strategies that diminish productivity will most likely result in employee workarounds that defeat security efforts.1,2 Additionally, human error and criminal intent can defeat the best-intentioned employee laptop and storage device security strategies. Despite these difficulties, mobile device policies are a necessary part of a comprehensive information security program to prevent HIPAA data breaches.

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Filed under: Digital Health, Privacy & HIPAA, Cybersecurity, Best Practices, Practice Manager, Information Security
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