The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.
It’s very important for companies working with protected health information (PHI) to undertake all necessary measures to keep that information protected as penalties for data loss or breach may come quite expensive. The penalties for non-compliance with HIPAA are broken down into 2 major categories: “Reasonable Cause” and “Willful Neglect”. Willful Neglect ranges from $10,000 to $50,000 for each incident. Reasonable Cause penalty ranges from $100 to $50,000 per incident. A simple “Did not know” violation can cost you $100 to $50,000. If you make the same violation in a calendar year due to “I still don’t know about HIPAA”, the fines and charges may go up to $1,500,000 according to federalregister.gov
Breaches can occur if and when employees lose unencrypted portable devices and mistakenly send to vendors some sensitive information who mishandle it. All these are real-world examples. Half of all data breaches are the result of theft. In other words, some IT criminals are always out there hunting for the information your company stores and uses.
For many companies working in the sphere of healthcare the process of becoming HIPAA compliant can be sometimes confusing, daunting and time-consuming. However, as you might have already guessed it’s very important to adhere to HIPAA requirements and keep your information protected at all times.
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