The Future of HIPAA Breach: Emerging Trends and Technologies

Data breaches are now an everyday occurrence. Data breaches are still likely to happen occasionally even with multi-layered cybersecurity measures. OCR is aware that cybercriminals target healthcare businesses and that it is impossible to put in place impenetrable security barriers.

It’s not necessary to ensure that there are no data breaches in order to be HIPAA compliant. The goal of HIPAA compliance is to lower risk to a reasonable and acceptable level. The mere fact that an organization has a HIPAA breach does not imply that a HIPAA violation caused the breach.

This is now more accurately reflected in the OCR breach portal. OCR investigates a lot of data breaches and discovers that there were no HIPAA Rules broken. As a result, there is no action done after the investigations are concluded.

Most Common HIPAA Violations

1. Snooping on Healthcare Records

Patient privacy is violated when access to a patient’s health records is made for purposes other than those covered by the Privacy Rule, such as treatment, payment, and healthcare operations.

One of the most frequent HIPAA violations committed by employees is prying into the medical records of relatives, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and celebrities. When these violations are detected, the employee in question may face criminal penalties in addition to termination from their position.

2. Failure to Perform an Organization-Wide Risk Analysis

One of the most frequent HIPAA breaches to incur a monetary fine is the failure to do an organization-wide risk analysis.

Organizations won’t be able to identify any risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of PHI if the risk analysis is not routinely carried out. As a result, risks are likely to go unchecked, giving hackers free reign.

3. Failure to Manage Security Risks / Lack of a Risk Management Process

Although conducting a risk analysis is crucial, it is not merely a compliance checkbox. After a risk has been identified, it must go through the risk management process. They ought to be dealt with in a timely manner after being given priority.

One of the most frequent HIPAA violations fined by the Office for Civil Rights is knowledge of hazards to PHI and failure to address them.

4. Failure to Enter into a HIPAA-Compliant Business Associate Agreement

Another of the most frequent HIPAA breaches is the failure to sign a business associate agreement that complies with HIPAA with every vendor that receives or has access to PHI.

Even if business associate agreements are in place with every vendor, they might not be HIPAA compliant if they haven’t been updated since the Omnibus Final Rule.

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