Dexcomm Blog

HIPAA Case Study: Loss of Electronic Backup

August 28, 2012

Safeguarding personal health information is one of the most important responsibilities of health care professionals, but having policies and procedures in place isn’t enough.  Covered entities must continuously monitor their execution and ensure that employees are trained.

 

A Seattle-based healthcare ministry has learned the hard way about this importance by having to enter into a Resolution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to settle potential violations of the Privacy and Security Rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).   The Resolution Agreement is due to the covered entity’s loss of electronic backup media and computers with personal health information.  As a result, they were ordered to pay $100,000 and implement a detailed Corrective Action Plan to safeguard patient information.

 

The Resolution Agreement obligates the organization to perform certain duties over the next few years such as staff training, monitoring transport and storage of electronic personal health information and conducting audits.

 

Kerry Weems, the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), commented, “This resolution confirms that effective compliance means more than just having written policies and procedures. To protect the privacy and security of patient information, covered entities need to continuously monitor the details of their execution, and ensure that these efforts include effective privacy and security staffing, employee training and physical and technical features.”

 

This is the first case where HHS has required a Resolution Agreement from a covered entity.

 

Although the healthcare ministry has become more effective at protecting personal health information, the investigation and Resolution Agreement have cost them time, money and created unwanted negative publicity. For more on this case visit HHS news HIPAA enforcement

 

network securityTo avoid an incident at your own organization, continuously monitor safeguarding policies and procedures, train employees, update equipment and keep up on current government rules and regulations. Our experts at Dexcomm suggest:

 

 

 


Dexcomm is a Louisiana-based corporation that provides answering services to businesses and service agencies across the United States. We have been open since 1954, employ a staff of nearly 100 people, and our average client retention rate is 10+ years.

Connect With Us:

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn


 

Read More About The Author: Dexcomm

Want To Stay In The Know? Subscribe to our blog!

You can sign up to receive weekly or monthly copies of our latest blogs, keeping you current on best practices, tips, and expert insight into helping your business communicate at its very best.


why-use-an-answering-service-thumbWhen you do, we will send you our free infographic.

"Why Use an Answering Service?"

 

Subscribe Here!

Lists by Topic

see all