There’s a lot to worry about as a dental professional, but few of those stressors are as financially threatening as a large-scale data breach. Though HIPAA regulations are often tedious and overwhelming, they ensure your practice operates securely in a world of hackers and an unstable online climate. After all, your practice likely houses thousands of records containing everything someone would need to steal identities.
Each breach scenario and disciplinary action is different, but the common thread that unites them all is the devastating blow that follows: Hefty fines, loss of patient trust, and potential compromised confidential information. Contrary to popular belief, most breaches don’t occur from a HIPAA Audit. They occur from day-to-day incidents that compromise patient information. Think human error, theft, hacking, IT vulnerabilities, and displacement of property.
When a breach affecting 500 or more individuals occurs, the compromised health provider must report the breach to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The practice’s information will be posted publically on the HHS’s Breach Portal, or as we like to call it: The HIPAA Wall of Shame. The HIPAA Wall of Shame grows every day with practices who never thought they’d make an appearance.
Surround yourself with professional partners who understand the severity and importance of HIPAA compliance, and possibly even follow the guidelines themselves. We’re proud to abide by HIPAA-HITECH laws while helping our partners navigate the evolving compliance landscape. Our clients are regularly notified of HIPAA-HITECH changes, and how to address them.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Be thoughtful and thorough as you routinely examine your practice’s security measures, and consult industry professionals that you trust.
Contact us to discuss security practices that prevent breaches from occurring. And as always, please let us know any questions!
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