HPAA Violations: Consequences and How to Avoid Them

Many HIPAA-related data breaches occurred in the United States in 2022. Smaller practices as well as major healthcare providers and commercial partners were among the groups involved.

With these attacks, hackers were able to obtain the personal information of 40 million people or roughly 10% of the US population.

HIPAA violations severely damage the reputation and financial health of your company.

For instance, informing patients that their personal information has been compromised may result in them losing faith in your business and choosing a different healthcare provider. Moreover, there are heavy fines and penalties for any HIPAA violations.

For firms, financial penalties are challenging to manage. Yet, if you violate the HIPAA, you could potentially be charged criminally.

Most Common HIPAA Violations

  • Failure to do a risk analysis of the entire organisation.
  • Failure to sign a business associate contract that complies with HIPAA.
  • PHI disclosures made in error.
  • Delayed notification of breaches.
  • Failing to protect PHI.

Processes for managing security risks that are ineffective or nonexistent, which may lead to a failure to take appropriate action.

  • Inadequate access restrictions.
  • Lack of encryption implementation.

How to Avoid HIPAA Compliance Violations?

1. Do self-assessments, spot gaps, and fill them.

HIPAA mandates that businesses do yearly self-audits to verify that administrative, technical, and physical measures are protecting PHI to a sufficient level. By doing them, you can find PHI threats and vulnerabilities as well as holes in current security measures.

You must come up with remediation plans to put your defenses in line with HIPAA requirements in order to close these gaps.

2. Publish policies and practices.

It’s crucial to have written down particular policies and processes that show how your company runs and complies with HIPAA regulations. The following should be accomplished through these policies and procedures:

  • Impose rules on how PHI should be used and disclosed;
  • Explain how your business protects PHI; and
  • Describe what to do if PHI is compromised.

3. Train Your Staff.

Human error accounts for a sizable chunk of breaches, whether it be someone opening a phishing email, accessing PHI without authorization, or exchanging PHI with an unauthorized person. So, one of your best lines of defense against violations is employee education, which ought to cover:

  • Best practices for cybersecurity,
  • A rundown of your organization’s rules and processes, and
  • Basic HIPAA instructions.

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