HIPAA Compliance, HITECH Act and what it might mean to practice if you violate


HIPAA Compliance grew just a few teeth. Really, it all started when the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was signed into law in 2009 – although the HITECH Act do not take effect until 2010. The purpose of HITECH was to encourage the adoption and meaningful use of technology as it pertains to health information. It was only fair that the United States Department of Health & Human Services introduced a law that would ensure the privacy of individual health information, based on various facilities have made paper records a thing of the past. For those who do not deal with electronic dissemination of health information properly, HITECH Act paves the way for serious consequences; HITECH provides provisions to strengthen criminal enforcement of HIPAA rules.

Fines of $ 100 per violation to $ 1,500,000 maximum per calendar year may be imposed under the HITECH Act. Fines are based on tiers. Each tier is designed to punish irregularities based on the increasing level of capacity of the offender; punishment will be decided based on the nature and scope of the violation and the nature and extent of the damage resulting from the violation. If you’re one of the parties (ie health care physicians, health services, business with health plans, etc.) is required to comply with HIPAA you may be liable for monetary penalties enforced by HHS combined with criminal penalties, enforced by the United States Department of Justice.

fines and the threat of going to jail are some of the main reasons for the drop-unit would want to be HIPAA compliant, although the company’s reputation should be enough. Improper disposal of medical records can land you on the cover of news, which is the last business or practice needs. High fines are making those who need to be HIPAA compliant think twice. High fines levied HIPAA break reflect the importance to safeguard protected health information. Faced with the looming threat of steep fines from failing to meet HIPAA data breach requirements, the health industry is looking for ways to ensure that they are HIPAA compliant.

There are a host of methods that a facility or company can ensure compliance. These methods range anywhere from hiring attorney to guide you through the line, attend seminars, have counselors visit the facility, or purchasing software or other tools such compliance to guide you through the process. It would be a big task for anyone to dig in all HIPAA regulations and administrative compliance. Finding help is definitely worth it. Just remember, whatever is chosen, it is important to make sure the staff dealing with patients or clients are trained in uniform, specific, HIPAA compliance procedures. But the process seems like a daunting task, it is important when you consider that repercusions from DOJ or HHS, they should pay a business visit.


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