I recently found this interesting graphic on LinkedIn, published by Compliancy Group, that laid out in a timeline the major HIPAA fines imposed by the US government on negligent health care organizations in 2019. It was an eye-opener to say the least.
Of the offending companies, one was fined $1.6 million, another $2.15 million, and three were fined $3 million for their violations of HIPAA regulations! And don’t think that fines were handed out only to the big players. Included in the graphic was a private dental office fined $10,000 for accidentally posting patient PHI (protected health information) on social media. Wow, this is serious stuff and no organization can afford to run afoul of these laws.
So what can the responsible healthcare provider do to ensure HIPAA compliance and stay out of trouble?
As an IT solutions provider to a number of healthcare entities, ranging from private practices to larger HMO style organizations, we at Level Up MSP are highly experienced assisting in HIPAA compliance related matters. Our approach is based on working with Compliancy Group and coaching our clients through the intricacies of compliance based upon these steps:
- User training and education on phishing and good computer hygiene.
- Management and encryption of all devices that touch PHI.
- Proper process of onboarding and offboarding employees.
- Regular changing of user passwords.
- Security audits on a scheduled basis.
- Security and vulnerability patching.
- Onsite and offsite backup testing and verification.
- Partnership with Compliancy Group to ensure your HIPAA compliancy.
To summarize: HIPAA is the law and large fines really do happen. You need to protect your patients and protect your practice because the consequences of negligence can be devastating.
Fortunately, Level Up MSP is there to help, and you can rest assured that through our guidance and services you’ll meet the most stringent demands of the HIPAA code. If you’re a healthcare practitioner please give us a call ASAP and we can start helping you with this essential compliance. Not only will you be operating within the law, but you’ll gain priceless peace of mind from knowing that you’ll be, and will remain, in compliance.