Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog
Hospitals Continue To Struggle With HIPAA Violations
Since 2003, the number of complaints filed under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has seen a meteoric rise; showing that many hospitals and healthcare providers continue to have serious issues with information security. Some of this increase can be attributed to better reporting of instances that may have gone unpublicized in the past, but the numbers overall are too great to solely attribute to that change.
Upon examination of the cases overall, only roughly 14% of issues required no corrective action, highlighting the seriousness with which patient information must be treated. Additionally, many of the largest fines and losses were directly caused by employee negligence or human error:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee – $1,500,000 fine, (1) stolen hard drive
- Alaska Department of Health and Human Services – $1,700,000 fine, (1) stolen hard drive
- Concentra Health Services – $1,725,220 fine, (1) stolen laptop
To help fight this trend, states continue to enact additional laws to safeguard patient rights and information (Kentucky’s new protections recently went into effect), making organizations answerable to more than one level of governance. Even though HIPAA is a piece of federal legislation, these additional regulations help encourage administrators to pay attention to a much maligned part of the healthcare system.
In short, though the healthcare field has come a long way in the past decade towards providing adequate security for patient records, there’s still a long way to go. Changing technologies and advanced computer criminals are providing a plethora of continuing headaches for systems to deal with while keeping up with additional legal requirements. Here at The Data Vault, we’re committed to working hand in hand with the healthcare community to meet these challenges as they come up. With 30 years of experience, our partners can attest to our utmost concern for security and meeting the regulatory needs of today and the future. If you have a need for secure records services, or have any questions about the updated policies here in Kentucky, feel free to give us a call at (502) 244 – 1151 and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions!