In 1996, the Federal Government signed law about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This law contains the rules, regulations, and guidelines for protecting and administering the use and distribution of medical or patient data.
The HIPAA protects sensitive patient data, also referred to as protected health information (PHI). It requires healthcare entities to create physical, network, and process security measures that meet HIPAA compliance standards.
HHS takes HIPAA compliance very seriously. It enforces HIPAA requirements aggressively and hands down stiff financial penalties according to a four-tier system.
Accidental, low-impact HIPAA violations are eligible for a $100 fine per violation, with an annual maximum of $25,000.
For higher impact violations, fines increase to $1,000 per violation, with an annual maximum of $100,000.
HHS takes intentional neglect of HIPAA requirements very seriously. If healthcare entities correct first-time HIPAA compliance violations in a timely fashion, the fine stands at $10,000 per violation, with an annual maximum of $250,000.
Entities that willfully violate HIPAA and fail to correct the problem face a fine of $50,000 per violation, with an annual maximum of $1.5 million. Intentional violations of the HIPAA requirements for privacy, such as in a hacking attack or copying and disseminating PHI, carry fines up to $100,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
Getting compliant with any law can be a daunting task for organizations. The first step towards attaining HIPAA compliance is understanding how it applies to your organization. The second step involves implementing technology, workflow processes, and staff training to help prevent accidental disclosure or HIPAA-related data breach.
Our consultants will implement policies and standards to ensure your organization remains compliant now and in the future. Contact us for a free consultation and help you confidently meet HIPAA requirements today.
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