As Compliance Issues Evolve, HIPAA Remains at Forefront

It might seem reasonable to think that, with HIPAA now having been around for the last 20 years, issues with HIPAA violations would be on the decline. But in an era where health care compliance issues are continually evolving in this new climate of health care under the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA violations continue to be at the forefront of compliance.

Today’s most common causes of HIPAA violations remain mostly the same as ever: the loss or theft of media like laptops, smart phones, tablets and other portable media devices. Many of these incidents take place away from hospital premises, such as in the home or car of a doctor or employee. Even at large health care organizations with more money to spend on security and prevention of these types of issues, these breaches can still occur and cause severe impacts.

Surprisingly, even these large organizations are not always fully prepared to deal with HIPAA violations and data breaches. And when they’re not, they run the risk of facing billions of dollars in lawsuits, as was the case with Sutter Healthcare in California a couple years ago. Even small, private practices could face major fines and payouts if they fail to abide by HIPAA standards.

With these types of compliance issues remaining at focus in the health care industry, it’s important that anyone who works at a health care facility remains vigilant about potential HIPAA violations. If possible, employees should avoid taking important information home with them, as it is easy to misplace or to leave behind in a taxi, on the bus or at a coffee shop. Employees should also continue to be wise in the way they deal with patients and the general public and avoid taking kickbacks or other illegal benefits.

For more information about how you can avoid issues with HIPAA violations, speak with a New Jersey health care compliance attorney at Buttaci Leardi & Werner, LLC today.

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Posted in: Compliance, Regulation