It seems federal authorities have no plans to cut back or slow down on enforcing compliance of HIPAA rules in 2017. With the second payment of the year in the books at $2.2 million, it's imperative providers put their security measures under the microscope before it's too late.
This latest enforcement is due to a stolen USB drive containing the electronic protected health information (ePHI) of more than 2,200 people.
Most often we hear of laptops or mobile devices stolen, but providers need to remember that every type of device needs to be encrypted, including removable media. If the USB was encrypted it still would have been a reportable event, but there probably would not have been fines.
Make a resolution this year to prepare your business for a HIPAA audit. With an increase of $17.4 million in fines from 2015 to 2016, it's safe to expect 2017 to stay on pace.
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