HIPAA Violations For April 2021Greg Garner
Are you keeping an eye out for HIPAA violations in your company? Is this a concern that you have about the future of your business?
This is a common problem and struggle for people in the healthcare business. Despite this, HIPAA violations are serious and it is necessary to take preventative measures against them.
HIPAA training and certification are designed to create a positive customer experience. These rules assist the customer in meeting their needs. They also ensure that customers feel safe at the hospital.
Can you picture creating an environment for your patients that makes them feel comfortable and secure? Is this a goal that you are working towards?
We can help you in achieving this. To start, we are going to describe an instance of HIPAA violation in April 2021. Then, we will continue by telling you about the importance of HIPAA training and certification.
Are you ready?
Let’s get started!
HIPAA Violations April 2021
Doctors Medical Center of Modesto, or DCM, recently found out that one of their contractors used by a former vendor exposed patient data on the internet. This is one of the primary instances of HIPAA violations in April 2021.
DCM has worked with the SaaS platform to make a virtual waiting room experience for their patients. On April 2, 2021, DCM found that some f the data about their patients were accessible on the Internet. The first thing they did was contact Medifies, the provider of their SaaS platform.
They went on to inform them of this issue. They fixed the problem and secured the data on the same day.
A thorough investigation of the breach was done. As a result, they determined that it was an accidental error. They made it when a software update was being performed.
This allowed their people to access the data on the Internet. The company has concluded that the Medifies software contractor is responsible for the mistake. As of right now, there is no evidence that any unauthorized people on the Internet viewed the information.
The released data was different for each patient. It may have included their name, address, email, date of birth, general procedure information, procedure dates, and the name of their physician. There were also instances of releasing information about their significant others. This included their name, address, email, and cell phone numbers.
Since this occurrence, DCM ended its business relationship with Medifies. They also continued to work alongside the company to learn more about this breach of information.
In response to the circumstance, DCM issued a statement about the situation to alert everybody about what had happened to their data. This was essential for informing their patients about the incident. Patients needed to know about the location of their personal information.
They stated that Medifies informed them of the state of their patients’ information. They explained that they told the company to take down the personal information from the Internet as quickly as possible. The company also initiated an investigation into the circumstance.
They also said that Medifies got a third-party firm to take a look at the incident. This allowed them to determine the cause of the publicity and when it initially occurred.
DCM went on the reassure their patients that their Social Security numbers, credit and debit card numbers, insurance plans, medical record numbers, and medication names were safe. They explained their commitment to preventing misuse of the information. They also showed their willingness to support their patients during this time.
The individuals were given compensation for their trouble. The company offered each person complimentary credit monitoring for a year. These patients have until April 23, 2022, to start the service.
HIPAA Rules and Regulations
It is valuable to implement the rules of HIPAA into training protocols. When creating a strategy for HIPAA compliance, these are the five primary rules that the companies should be aware of.
The Privacy Rule
The Privacy Rule keeps track of protected health information, or PHI, and the medical records of patients. It also gives each patient the right to have a copy of their records or request corrections. It is not possible to initiate certain uses without the permission of the patient.
This also helps patients to feel comfortable with the service that they are given. Knowing that personal information is in a secure place is a valuable quality for a company. Not only does it reassure the patients, but they are also more likely to visit again in the future.
The Security Rule
The Security Rule regulates the standards and procedures of protecting PHI. There are three levels of security. These are administrative safeguards, technical safeguards, and physical safeguards.
Administrative safeguards keep track of the assignment of HIPAA security compliance teams. Technical safeguards work with encryption methods in control over data access. Physical safeguards protect the electronic system and equipment within an organization.
The Transactions Rule
The Transactions Tule deals with the codes used in HIPAA transactions. This includes ICD-9, ICD-10, HCPCS, CPT-3, CPT-4, and NDC codes. This rule ensures that the company uses the codes safely and correctly.
The Identifiers Rule
The Identifiers Rule uses three methods. These relate to the entities that use HIPAA for the transactions. These identifiers consist of the national provider identifier, national health plan identifiers, and the standard unique employer identifier.
A national provider identifier is a 10-digit number for healthcare providers. The national health plan identifier uses health plans and payers under Medicare and Medicaid services. The standard of unique employer identifiers locates employer identities in HIPAA transactions
The Enforcement Rule
The enforcement rule expands the acts under privacy and security. It increases the penalties for violations that occur as well.
Five primary areas cover identities and business associates. These include the application of HIPAA security and privacy, the establishment f federal privacy and security breach reporting, making new privacy and disclosure requirements, creating new criminal and civil penalties, and enforcing methods against noncompliance.
What Is HIPAA Training?
HIPAA enhances the quality of the healthcare system. The law requires companies to have HIPAA training. Yet, it can be difficult to know exactly what that means. We are here to tell you about what HIPAA has to say about the training and what this means for your organization.
The standards of training are described under privacy and security rules. According to the section about privacy rule, training is required for each employee after the hiring process. Organizations also should have extra training in the event of a policy change.
HIPAA states that training should include security reminder protection, monitoring, and password management. While these are not required, they are seen as addressable. This means that there is some flexibility to use one’s discretion in making security choices.
Covered entities and business associates can carry out HIPAA training. All employees that have access to protected health information must have regular training.
This training must be recurring to keep employees up-to-date as well. Each person needs to be aware of policy changes and has reminders of important information. This can ensure that they will not forget information that is necessary for their job.
There is not a required length of time for HIPAA training. In general, training should be long enough to discuss every piece of important information with employees. This may vary depending on the people involved.
Training should also be short enough to keep the employees’ attention. If the videos or training sessions are too long, the attendees may lose interest in the information. As a result, they may not gain all the knowledge that is necessary for their job during the sessions.
If the training is inadequate, there is not a penalty or fine. Yet, it may lead to breaches in PHI. A breach may occur again in the future and the company may be seen as having neglected its HIPAA training. Fines may be larger, and the breach could have been prevented.
Having adequate training is an important part of HIPAA and preventing the exposure of material. If DCM and MEdifies had used high-quality HIPAA training, this breach of information may have been prevented. Employees would not have made this accidental mistake.
Training employees about how to perform security acts correctly is an important part of gaining an understanding of their role in the company. By having detailed knowledge of HIPAA and how to protect personal information, Medifies can improve its business relationships and reestablish trust with its clients.
What Is HIPAA Certification?
HIPAA certification means that a given healthcare organization meets the standard of privacy, security, and breach rules. In most circumstances, this means that a third-party certification company does an audit of the organization. In these cases, they will analyze the organization to make sure that the practices meet HIPAA requirements.
After this process, the company can be informally labeled as HIPAA certified. This will further establish feelings of trust and security from their patients now and in the future.
It is important to remember that HIPAA compliance is not something you achieve. Instead, it is a process that an organization constantly works towards. Healthcare organizations and the technology that employees use are always changing. This makes it important to reevaluate practices and change them according to the times.
This is a valuable process in keeping up with the present day. It is important to give patients the best experience when they visit a clinic. One of the best ways to do this is by providing them with a safe and up-to-date atmosphere. This will help them to receive the best care possible.
Medifies and DCM have worked hard to achieve HIPAA certification. Yet, this is a continuous process. They need to keep enhancing their service. This will help them to earn and maintain HIPAA certification.
The company can get this certification by ensuring that its database is secure. They would have known how to operate the system correctly if their employees had been well-trained through HIPAA.
They also would have been able to spot the breach at an earlier time. The data that was released had been available to the world on the Internet for a year and nobody knew. If they had conducted frequent analyses of their software and security system, this could have been identified at a sooner time.
Lastly, keeping up with HIPAA certification will help them to prevent this from happening again. Learning from mistakes is a crucial part of growing as a business.
Their goals should be to make their patients feel comfortable and at ease at their locations. People want to know that the company stores their information in a safe location.
They also need to be confident in the company’s ability to protect personal information. Ending the business relationship between DCM and Medifies was a good move to make in this situation. It ensures the patients that the situation is being taken care of and that they take it seriously.
This will help them to build up their credibility for future patients. DCM has the ability to reestablish relationships with its patients. They can accomplish this if they continue to improve their security techniques and requirements.
To Sum Up HIPAA
As DCM and Medifies demonstrated, it is vital to follow HIPAA rules and regulations. Yet, there is still a possibility for accidental mistakes. While these things are not uncommon, it is important to take as many preventative measures as possible.
We encourage you to implement in-depth HIPAA training in your healthcare company. This will help you to maintain HIPAA certification and trust from your patients.