Stay Off the HHS Office for Civil Rights’ “Wall of Shame”

Wall_of_shameAs of June 2015, there are 1258 cases listed on the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) “Wall of Shame.” These are breaches of unsecured health information affecting 500 or more individuals. The reports of these breaches of patient confidentiality are required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

The most important thing to note is that the list does not discriminate small healthcare organizations, some small private practices made on it, as well.

The OCR continuously updates this list of breaches on its website. These breaches include a brief summary of each case that OCR has investigated and closed, as well as the names of private practice providers who have reported breaches of unsecured health information to the OCR.

Click here to see the OCR’s “Wall of Shame.”

Keep Up-To-Date With HIPAA security

The OCR under the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) recently released stronger rules and protections governing patient privacy. On January 17, 2013, the HHS announced the omnibus rule to strengthen the privacy and security protection established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. These changes also improve the HITECH Act by making it clear when breaches must be reported to the OCR. Once reported, the breaches are then placed on the “Wall of Shame.” It’s important to review these changes, as to stay off the list. Click here to learn more on the new HIPAA Security rules.

Get a HIPAA Risk Assessment.

Since the HIPAA laws have changed, you need to edit your privacy forms and procedures. Many health providers simply don't have the time to re-review their policies and revise documents. A HIPAA risk assessment is a thorough review and analysis of areas where you may have risk of violating the HIPAA laws.  Federal regulations require that covered entities have this assessment done. To learn more on HIPAA risk assessments, click here.

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