What Are the Most Common HIPAA Violations?
HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is an essential piece of legislation in the healthcare field, because it’s what keeps any healthcare practice accountable for properly storing, protecting, and sharing patient information. However, since this law was enacted in 1996, there have been widespread changes to how patient records are documented and stored, and that has created a unique set of issues when it comes to compliance. Below, you can get a glance at some of the most common HIPAA violations seen in today’s high-tech landscape, so that you are better able to avoid them in your practice.
In the past, keeping secured records simply meant limiting access to physical files behind lock and key. Now, most healthcare records are digital files, so they require different types of security—primarily password protection. However, passwords can be easily hacked, so the files should be encrypted if possible. Neglecting proper security and having electronic health records hacked could land you with a violation, even though hacking is not directly your fault.
Loss of Devices
One of the most common violations is shockingly simple. It doesn’t result from sophisticated hacking, but rather lost or stolen devices containing access to sensitive files. Devices may include laptops, tablets, or cell phones, so it’s important to have clear cut policies about where company devices may be taken, how they must be stored, and how they may be used.
Poor Employee Training
Employee errors can account for many HIPAA violations, which can be avoided with more adequate training. Areas that are common errors for employees include properly handling phishing emails, gossiping about patient cases, and improperly disposing of records.
Because HIPAA violation fines are so steep and costly for your business, you won’t want to take any chances with your compliance. Keep your peace of mind with the help of Mesch Clark Rothschild in Tucson. Our healthcare compliance attorneys have in-depth knowledge of essential federal and state healthcare laws, so give us a call today at (520) 624-8886 to take advantage of our expertise.