Cornichon Healthcare Announces Release of Version 2 of HIPAA Safeguard

Protected health information (PHI) must be secured under HIPAA and HITECH Act regulations, and covered entities and business associates are required to demonstrate compliance by conducting a risk analysis and implementing safeguard policies and procedures. The penalties for noncompliance are severe and enforcement is conducted not only at the federal level, but also by state attorneys general under the HITECH Act.

A Christmas Present to Avoid by Planning Ahead to Achieve HIPAA/HITECH Act Security Compliance

On December 24, 2013, a New England dermatology practice agreed to pay a financial penalty of $150,000 to HHS as part of a resolution agreement and corrective action plan“for not having policies and procedures in place to address the breach notification provisions of the [HITECH Act]” following theft of an unencrypted thumb drive containing electronic protected health information (ePHI). While the practice reported to HHS the breach of its ePHI, the required OCR investigation thereafter indicated that the practice had not performed a risk analysis as part of its security management process until after the breach, did not have written policies and procedures implemented until after the breach, and had not trained its workforce members on those policies and procedures.

The Biggest Risk for Health Care Organizations

“The biggest risk for health care organizations is to not effectively identify, mitigate, manage and finance risks from an enterprise perspective…. An enterprise risk approach will identify for each health care organization its biggest risk. In addition, technology in general is a big risk for health care organizations. Oftentimes, technology advances more rapidly than organizations can handle...

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