April 19, 2012
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has accepted a $100,000 settlement from an Arizona cardiac surgery practice for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HHS stated in its press release that the practice failed to implement required policies and procedures to comply with HIPAA and the Security Rule, and had limited safeguards in place to protect patients' electronic protected health information. The press release also cited the incident giving rise to the investigation of the practice was a report that the practice was posting clinical and surgical appointments for its patients on an Internet-based calendar that was publicly accessible.
Of course keeping tabs on government activity and settlements such as the above is important for everyone in practice in order to stay in touch with areas of potential exposure, and to continue to better their own practice by maintaining and working on compliance.
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