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HIT Security Column

A Culture of Compliance

A Culture of Compliance

Healthcare compliance can feel like a list of chores. You’ve got to train your staff, and sign agreements with Business Associates, and complete your Risk Analysis. It’s work that many healthcare providers would gladly trade for a day on the farm. Yet, turning compliance into a set of checklists can defeat the purpose. What is […]

August 18, 2014 | By More
Policies, Procedures and e-PHI

Policies, Procedures and e-PHI

So… do you know where your HIPAA policies and procedures are at this exact moment? According to a somewhat random and informal study I conducted over cocktails at a party populated by practitioners this weekend, many EP’s have only a vague idea of the location of said documents and a somewhat blurrier memory of when they […]

August 11, 2014 | By More
Compliance in Healthcare; More Complaints, More Lawsuits and More Ways to Manage It

Compliance in Healthcare; More Complaints, More Lawsuits and More Ways to Manage It

I have heard a growing group of healthcare industry insiders talking about this year being the inflection point in information security compliance. Media is paying far greater attention with high profile breaches in retail settings such as Target and TJX, revelations from Edward Snowden as well as a growing list of healthcare industry violation.  In […]

July 27, 2014 | By More
The HIPAA Whistleblowers Are Coming

The HIPAA Whistleblowers Are Coming

The federal government investigates HIPAA violations from three main sources: audits, breach investigations, and whistleblower complaints. HIPAA audits from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) generate press, but OCR can audit less than 1 percent of the 700,000 healthcare providers each year, let alone the million or more Business Associates. The buzz around audits is […]

July 20, 2014 | By More
HIPAA Crosses the 1000 Breach Milestone and a Warning That Fines Will Spike

HIPAA Crosses the 1000 Breach Milestone and a Warning That Fines Will Spike

It’s been another eventful couple of weeks in healthcare data security.  Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights submitted its Annual Report to Congress on Breaches of Unsecured Protected Health Information for 2011 and 2012 which is required by the HITECH Act.  Soon after we eclipsed the 1000 breach mark in incidents involving more […]

June 29, 2014 | By More
4 Simple Steps to Reduce Your Risk of a Data Breach

4 Simple Steps to Reduce Your Risk of a Data Breach

1) If you invest in technology, make sure to use it correctly! The CEO of Target was finally let go for the massive credit card breach that occurred in 2013. Not because he neglected to implement a security plan or facilitate good technology. In fact, Target had both in place. The failure was in neglecting […]

May 14, 2014 | By More
The Compliance Officer Conundrum

The Compliance Officer Conundrum

15 Tasks and Quick Reference for Privacy Procrastinators In a recent 4Medapproved survey, we asked, “Have you Designated a Chief Compliance Officer?” Appointing a compliance officer is a requirement under HIPAA for all environments managing or maintaining PHI (Protected Health Information). I was surprised to find that only about 30% of small practice respondents said […]

April 21, 2014 | By More