The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule: What it Really Means and How to Comply?


Jonathan P. Tomes , J.D., is Keynote Speaker at Compliance key Inc. He is a health care attorney practicing in the greater Kansas City. He is a nationally recognized authority and expert witness on the legal requirements for health information. Jon has written more than 60 books, including the following: How to Handle HIPAA and HITECH Act Breaches, Complaints, and Investigations: Everything You Need to Know; The Compliance Guide to HIPAA and the DHHS Regulations, now in its sixth edition, along with its accompanying HIPAA Documents Resource Center CD, ; Electronic Health Records: A Practical C........

Overview

With the Enactment of the Modifications to HIPAA contained in the so-called HI-TECH Act and its implementing regulation, the Omnibus Rule, the law and DHHS have greatly expanded the importance of handling breaches properly. How covered entities handle security incidents, breaches, and complaints is one of the key areas that DHS audits for. In addition, it has imposed civil money penalties as high as $5.5 million for failure to handle HIPAA violations properly. Every entity has a security incident on occasion-maybe dozens a year. But which of them are actually breaches and which are reportable breaches? The Omnibus Rule changed the reporting requirement significantly and you must understand the new rule. You don't want to have to report a breach that you are not required to and thus face significant liability. And you want to structure the report to minimize the chance that it will trigger and investigation and a penalty.

Why should you attend this webinar?

As of the so-called HITECH Act, covered entities and their business associates must report certain breaches of HIPAA to DHHS which can result in seven-figure fines, lawsuits, bad publicity, and other sanctions. Civil money penalties to date range from $50,000 to two in the $4 million range. And a $50,000 or low six-figure fine may doom a small practice. And these fines cannot be discharged in bankruptcy because they are imposed as a punishment rather than compensating the government for that money it had expended. The largest civil money penalty is reserved for breaches that are not handled properly, capped at $1.5 million for identical such breaches in a calendar year. And DHHS considers that, say, if you lose an unencrypted laptop with no other reasonable and appropriate security in its place, it constitutes a separate violation for each patient's data on the lost laptop.

Nor are these penalties reserved for large practices. Fines have been assessed against two-physician practices and a small hospice in North Dakota. Being not-for-profit provides no immunity, nor does being a government entity. Alaska Medicaid was fined $1.5 million; and a county government (Skagit County in Washington State), $215,000.

A number of these civil money penalties have resulted from this self-reporting. Thus, know when and how to report is absolutely critical.

Areas Covered in the Session:

Who can Benefit:

Health Professionals and their staffs, Privacy and Security Officers, Medical Records Professionals, IT Professionals, Office Managers, Risk Managers, Business Associates of Covered Entities (those that provide a service for the Covered Entity involving the use of individually identifiable health information (transcription services, billing services, cloud storage companies, and the like), Healthcare Attorneys, Compliance Officers.



Webinar Id: HIPJPTH005

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Duration: 60 mins

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