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Is it Time for Your Organization to Hit the HIPAA Breach Panic Button?
by Jay Hodes, President - Colington ConsultingIndeed, it is. According to the latest statics from the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR), 43% of all reported breaches are now caused by hacking or other related information network discrepancies—not to mention those breaches that are the result of...  Read More
HIPAA Best Practices for Employee Termination
On December 11, 2018, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a settlement of $111,400 with Pagosa Springs Medical Center (PSMC) located in Colorado. The settlement was the outcome of a HIPAA enforcement action following the findings of an OCR investigation that was triggered by an...  Read More
Questions Surround Houston Breach
Paperwork containing PHI from approximately 1800 patients has been discovered abandoned in a Houston street by an employee of TV station KBOU.HIPAA Journal reports that the paperwork contained information such as patients’ names, birth dates, diagnoses, treatment information, medications, vital...  Read More
HIPAA: Who Can You Trust?
A tenured employee of the emergency department of Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn is alleged to have stolen the protected health information of at least 100 individuals while working at the hospital and disclosed that information to another individual using an encrypted smartphone app.In June...  Read More
HIPAA – Why is Compliance So Hard to Achieve?
by Jay Hodes - President, Colington ConsultingIf you track the healthcare sector like I do, then it should not come as a big surprise how many HIPAA data breaches are occurring on a regular basis. Almost every day there is another news article announcing breaches large and small. Why is that? Why...  Read More
Social Media Opens Door to HIPAA Violations
While healthcare practitioners have unique perspectives on topics of interest to patients, the demand for this information must be balanced with how information is used, who may access it, and who else it can affect.  Take some commonsense precautions with social media postings: If you wouldn’t say...  Read More
YOUR OFFICE, HIPAA AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Many times, HIPAA violations are caused by well-meaning staff members. More and more often, violations occur because of inappropriate use of social media. Staff members should be trained on the ‘Golden Rule’ of social media usage; if they wouldn’t say it in an elevator, they shouldn’t say it...  Read More
HIPAA THEFTS FACILITATE INCOME TAX FRAUD
Ever wonder where the criminals who file fraudulent income tax returns get the data they need to scam the government?  Consider Jean Baptiste Alvarez, a 43-year-old behavioral healthcare worker who stole daily census sheets from the 267-bed facility where he worked. The census sheets contained all...  Read More
Are Your Posts Breaching Patient Privacy?
Many dentists and dental office employees don’t realize that any social media discussion of patient treatment – even posts that do not identify a patient by name – can violate HIPAA.Because social media is still evolving, most offices have no social media policy and haven’t given much thought to...  Read More
 HIPAA WARNING FROM ADA CHAIR IN WAKE OF DENTIST FINE
Until two years ago, dental offices had avoided fines for HIPAA noncompliance.  In 2015, Dr. Joseph Beck became the first dentist to be fined for a HIPAA violation, which sent a warning to dental offices nationwide about HIPAA compliance. Interestingly, the penalty Dr. Beck paid was not issued by...  Read More
 How Adware Scams Work and How They Work
You’re at your desk, working away when you receive a message from a Facebook friend. You click on the link. Congratulations! You’ve just fallen for the latest social media adware scam.While little is known about the adware or those behind it, the adware uses Facebook Messenger to track your web...  Read More
How Secure is Your Office’s WiFi Network?
If you offer patients a WiFi network to access when they are in your office waiting room, your practice is liable for any criminal activity that transpires.  Considering that nothing on the internet is really secret, this is a serious concern.You may provide a ‘splash page’ containing an acceptable...  Read More
How To Protect Patient Data Part 2: Social Media Posts
By responding to a patient review on social media recently, a Texas dentist found himself in hot water with HHS and the Office for Civil Rights. While the dentist wasn’t fined formisusingpatient information, he did have to spend money for specialized legalcounsel,and likely spent many...  Read More
After the Disaster ...
Disaster recovery has been a staple of patient privacy law since 1996, and yet, many practices still operate without a viable data backup system in place. Following Hurricane Sandy in 2012, experts estimated that nearly half of all healthcare offices in Manhattan had no functioning backup or...  Read More
 Is HIPAA Compliance Worth Your Attention?
Most Americans think of themselves as honest, law-abiding citizens. However, consider a familiar experience: You get into your car to drive to work and the first thing you do is buckle up. Why?Either you buckle up because it’s the law, or you buckle up because you are mindful of the reports...  Read More
Ransomware - Catastrophic Cyber Security Breaches
Dental offices are now being hit with Ransomware (cyber blackmail). If you own or work in a dental practice, you need to know what Ransomware is, and the ramificationsof this serious security breach.Ransomware Trojans are a type of cyberware that is designed to extort money from a dental office....  Read More
ARE YOU HIP TO THE NEW HIPAA AUDITS of 2016?
HIPAA just got a little bolder! This week I had an opportunity to attend a special legal update webinar about the new PHASE I & PHASE II HIPAA AUDITS that all healthcare offices are subject to --throughout the USA.As a HIPAA Trainer & Coach I have to attend HIPAA updates constantly. While...  Read More
HIPAA SECURITY CHECKLIST
Anti-Virus Checklist Policies should be in place requiring use of anti-virus software. All staff should understand and agree that they should not hinder the operation of anti-virus software All staff should know how to recognize possible symptoms of viruses or malware on their computers ...  Read More
HIPAA Compliance – Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
The expression “waiting for the other shoe to drop” appears to have originated in the early 1900’s and is often associated with the arrival of a seemingly inevitable event. I speculate we are at that point in terms of ramped up HIPAA compliance enforcement. The recent Anthem data...  Read More
How To Avoid A HIPAA Violation In The Use Of An Office Copier
Protected Health Information on Photocopier HardDrivesMany dental practices lease photocopiers and simply returnthe photocopier to the leasing company to replace it with the latest model.However, most dentists are unaware that their old photocopier could subjecttheir dental practice to substantial...  Read More

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