Key Facts About HIPAA Compliance – What You Need to Know

Key Facts About HIPAA Compliance – What You Need to Know

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

Colington Consulting is launching a new blog series to explain the recent HIPAA settlements, best practices about HIPAA compliance, and the various requirements an organization must have in place under the HIPAA Security & Privacy Rules. This blog series is titled “Key Facts About HIPAA Compliance – What You Need to Know.”

We understand the complexities associated with maintaining a HIPAA compliance program and making sure everything is properly covered. If a breach of protected health information occurs, your organization will be subject to an investigation by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the agency that enforces HIPAA compliance. You may also face the possibility of monetary penalties.

Are HIPAA Penalties Severe?

There has been a trend toward higher settlement payments, and 2018 was an all-time record year in HIPAA enforcement activity. In 2018, OCR settled 10 cases, and was granted summary judgment in a case before an administrative law judge, together totaling $28.7 million. This total far exceeded the previous record of $23.5 million in 2016. The single largest individual HIPAA settlement reached by OCR was $16 million with Anthem, Inc., representing a nearly threefold increase over the previous record settlement of $5.5 million in 2016.

Roger Severino, the director of OCR, has said “enforcement is a key aspect of HIPAA” and organizations must embrace a “new posture of preventive security.”

Help with HIPAA Compliance

Our goal at Colington is to help keep your organization one step ahead in making sure those tasked with the security management process understand even the smallest areas of compliance that can easily be overlooked.

Have a question about HIPAA compliance? Let us know using our online form or call us at (800) 733-6379, and we would be pleased to discuss it with you and perhaps also address it in this series.