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HIT Security Column

Disaster Recovery is a HIPAA Requirement

Disaster Recovery is a HIPAA Requirement

Disaster recovery is probably the most neglected area of HIPAA compliance for ambulatory practices. Hospitals have disaster recovery and business continuity plans because they care for critical patients and stand to lose many thousands of dollars each day they are closed. But many ambulatory practices imagine they’ll muddle through any disaster. They may not realize […]

February 9, 2015 | By More
Medical Mergers Bring HIPAA Breaches

Medical Mergers Bring HIPAA Breaches

Hospitals and medical groups are in a frenzy of mergers and acquisitions, but many are not protecting themselves from the increased risk of HIPAA breaches that results. The latest example comes from Northwestern Medical Group, a highly respected healthcare organization based in Chicago. On December 19th, Northwestern announced that an employee laptop with nearly 3,000 […]

January 4, 2015 | By More
Vendors and Other Vulnerabilities

Vendors and Other Vulnerabilities

The largest data breaches of the last year occurred when cyber-criminals used vendors to gain unauthorized access to computer networks. Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time before the same methods enable a massive breach of healthcare data. In fact, I would wager that hackers have already used a Business Associate to plant malware […]

November 10, 2014 | By More
Encryption is Key to HIPAA Compliance

Encryption is Key to HIPAA Compliance

There have been about 125,000 breaches of HIPAA data in the last few years, and 60 percent of them could have been prevented by encryption. For me, this was the big takeaway from the OCR and NIST conference in Washington D.C. last month. Of course, this number includes only the reported breaches. A fair estimate […]

October 27, 2014 | By More
High HIPAA Hopes

High HIPAA Hopes

September Survey Reflects Optimistic Compliance Outlook A recent survey conducted by 4Medapproved, sought the opinions of the medical community regarding their current HIPAA compliance status. One hundred and eighty participants reported surprising results. Reflecting¬†a¬†decent sized sample of the healthcare industry population, the answers to two questions and the accompanying comments are encouraging news for HIPAA […]

October 6, 2014 | By More
Breaches Come To Those Who Wait

Breaches Come To Those Who Wait

Breaches have come to many organizations this year, from Target, to Michaels, to Neiman Marcus. But this year of breath-taking data breaches climaxed with the largest one of all, when Home Depot announced that it had breached 56 million credit card numbers on September 8. As details of the breach have begun to emerge, it […]

September 29, 2014 | By More
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