Implications of HIPAA Breaches an Increasing Concern for Long-term Care

Data breaches can come from many sources including ransom-ware, employee mistakes and disgruntled and/or former employee actions.  Long-term care operators have a specific added burden of securing records for an extended period. Additionally, this type of information remains valid and useful for a very long period since it is unlikely to change.

Following a data breach, Federal HIPAA penalties, class-action lawsuits and settlements are an increasing concern for healthcare providers. For example, Anthem, Inc., the largest U.S. health insurance company, recently settled litigation over hacking in 2015 that compromised about 79 million people’s personal information for $115 million.  Even if a provider has committed no wrongdoing, bad publicity can cause major financial implications.

As data breeches continue to proliferate, there is guidance on how to act quickly and stop/report cyber security related-incidents within your facility. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights provided this guidance in a recently published checklist.

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