HIPAA and the Encryption Effect

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 protects the confidentiality of Protected Healthcare Information or PHI. In 2009 HIPAA was updated with the HITECH Act that increased focus on the penalties and rules around disclosure in the event of a PHI breach.

The consequences of a PHI breach can be severe. Should a breach occur and the data is not encrypted, organizations are obliged to:

  • Notify all individuals concerned
  • Notify the HSS
  • Notify major media outlets (for breaches of 500+ records)
  • Incur severe fines which can be in excess of $1,000,000

Encrypting your data remains the most effective way to ensure that if a breach occurs your data remains secure and you are exempt from these penalties.

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The Cost Of A HIPAA Breach Today

In the last 12 months fines for PHI breaches have soared. Recent examples include:

0.7 Million
Concentra Health Services
Fined for a lost laptop and the lack of encryption on its laptops, desktop computers, medical equipment, tablets and other devices
0.5 Million
Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Fined for HIPAA Privacy and Security violations, all stemming from a single laptop stolen from the vehicle of a DHHS employee

Beyond the fines, additional costs include …

Expenses in notifying all relevant parties

Lost revenue from patient churn

Significant reputation damage

Need Help? Get A Personal HIPAA Security Consultation

With the cost of HIPAA violations rising, why put your business at risk? We’ve designed our free HIPAA Security Consultation to help you understand how to better protect yourself, your business and your client’s information. We’ll also provide you with a Sample Data Protection Policy to help get things started!

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