HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA Compliance

Top 7 Most Common Questions on HIPAA and COVID-19

January 6th, 2022

As we turn the page on 2021 and embark on 2022, many are hopeful that this year we will finally return to normalcy. But as Omicron surges across the nation at record breaking-rates, Americans have become tired and weary of what has seemed like a never-ending pandemic.

Government officials, hospitals, physicians, healthcare workers and employers have pleaded with Americans to protect themselves and others through vaccinations, boosters, social distancing and masking. But with all of the vaccination and mask mandates sparking controversy, there has been a degree of confusion regarding privacy rights and HIPAA when it comes to vaccination status.

HIPAA Breach Reporting Rules Deadline Approaches

February 11th, 2021

The HIPAA Breach reporting deadline is less than a month away. Which means any breaches involving 500 individuals or less must be reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) no later than Monday, March 1, 2021.

COVID-19 Cybercrime: 4 Tips to Protect Your Practice

November 23rd, 2020

Crimes of opportunity have been increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and cybercrime is no exception. The FBI recently reported that cyberattacks have increased to as much as 4,000 more per day, representing a 400% increase from pre-coronavirus numbers.

Cybercriminals are using phishing attacks, malspam, and Ransomware to send fraudulent emails regarding COVID-19 as bait. They are preying on the vulnerable and their anxieties created by COVID-19. While health care facilities and providers have been busy providing care to COVID patients, they have been overwhelmingly targeted by attackers. Regardless of your practice size or location, there are ways to help safeguard your practice almost immediately.

Beware of Increased Cybersecurity Threats During Coronavirus

October 26th, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only infected the entire globe with a health crisis like never seen before. It has changed our lives, families, businesses, work and our security. It has brought about new risks and challenges in the workplace, with cyberspace being no exception.

How Employees Can Stay HIPAA Compliant While Working at Home During COVID-19

October 8th, 2020

COVID-19 has forced millions of individuals nationwide to work from their homes, enabling them to social distance and reduce the risk of virus transmission. In fact, research by Gallop found that three in five U.S. workers have been telecommuting during the coronavirus pandemic.

While telecommuting can provide many benefits, it can also pose significant challenges for healthcare organizations required to follow Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) rules and guidelines.

Is Contacting COVID Patients for Blood and Plasma HIPAA Compliant?

September 15th, 2020

Recently, there has been some confusion on whether or not the utilization of personal health information (PHI) to contact patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to provide them with information about donating blood and plasma donations would be permitted under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

What You Need to Know about COVID-19 and HIPAA

August 31st, 2020

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance and clarity regarding disclosures of protected health information (PHI) during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.

Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at HHS Statement

March 18th, 2020

Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications during the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency

Report: Most Common Cyberattacks Faced by Healthcare Organizations

February 13th, 2020

A recent report from Proofpoint provides insights into the most common attacks faced by healthcare organizations. To help better understand the evolving cyberthreat landscape, the report analyzed a year of cyberattacks against healthcare providers, pharmaceutical and life sciences organizations, and health insurers between 2018-2019.

HHS Notice Regarding Individuals’ Right of Access to Health Records

February 5th, 2020

On January 28, 2020, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a notice regarding legislative modifications made to the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule of 2013.

BULLETIN: HIPAA Privacy and Novel Coronavirus

February 4th, 2020

In light of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is providing this bulletin to ensure that HIPAA covered entities and their business associates are aware of the ways that patient information may be shared under the HIPAA Privacy Rule in an outbreak of infectious disease or other emergency situation, and to serve as a reminder that the protections of the Privacy Rule are not set aside during an emergency.

Emergency Directive to Mitigate Windows Vulnerabilities

January 20th, 2020

The US Department of Health and Human Services just released an emergency directive to notify the Health and Public Health Sector of significant vulnerabilities identified in the Microsoft Windows Operating Systems.

Protect Your Organization from Cyberterrorism!

January 6th, 2020

Cyberterrorism is on the rise, and this includes phishing attacks. According to a recent report from Verizon, 90% of all data breaches are linked to phishing attacks. With the average cost of a successful phishing attack for a medium-sized business totalling $1.6 million, it is critical to ensure employees are educated on how to identify these scams before they cause catastrophic damage.

‘Tis the Season for Phishing

December 16th, 2019

As the holiday season draws near, MedSafe urges healthcare organizations and employees to be aware of online scams. Phishing attacks are on the rise with the highest rates since 2016, according to the Phishing Activity Trends Report.

Is Texting HIPAA Compliant?

December 3rd, 2019

Is texting HIPAA compliant? The answer to this question is not as simple as it may seem. With more and more medical professionals relying on their personal mobile devices for communication, texting has become a significant challenge for healthcare organizations nationwide. Whether or not texting is HIPAA compliant largely depends upon what is texted, who is texted, and what mechanisms are in place to ensure the integrity of Protected Health Information (PHI).

10 HIPAA Breach Costs Healthcare Organizations Should Be Aware Of

November 14th, 2019

HIPAA Breaches can cost healthcare organizations millions. Healthcare data breaches typically cost more than data breaches in any other industry. In fact, the average cost of a healthcare data breach in the United States is $15 million.

Understanding HIPAA Right of Access- A Patient’s Right to Access their Medical Records

October 15th, 2019

According to a recent study there has been widespread noncompliance with the HIPAA right of access. In fact, more than half of the providers that were assessed in this report were either not fully compliant with the HIPAA law or it took multiple attempts before becoming compliant. (1)

What is Considered PHI Under HIPAA?

September 30th, 2019

PHI stands for Protected Health Information. According to the HIPAA Privacy Rule, protected health information is identifiable information related to the present, past, or future health status of a patient. It includes all personal health information that is created, collected, transmitted or maintained by a HIPAA-covered entity concerning the provision of healthcare or payment for healthcare services.

Direct Liability of Business Associates for HIPAA Noncompliance

September 3rd, 2019

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), business associates of HIPAA covered entities may be held liable for noncompliance of certain HIPAA rules and requirements. HHS has provided the following list of HIPAA violations that business associates can be held fully liable.

Average Cost of a Data Breach

August 20th, 2019

A recent report published by The Poneman Institute/IBM Security released a comprehensive analysis of data breaches reported in 2018. The report indicated that data breach costs have continued to increase, with healthcare organizations experiencing the costliest cases.

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