If you handle healthcare information of any type, you’ve had HIPAA grilled into your brain over the last few years. HIPAA has been around since 1996 and was designed to protect American consumers’ healthcare info from fraud and theft. In 1996, this wasn’t as difficult to do – records might be stolen, but they were physical, so they were stolen one at a time. Today, HIPAA violations happen every week, with records stolen in the millions. The reason for this theft: cyber-attacks.
In 2019 alone, 37 different companies have reported breaches of their IT systems. To bring this into perspective, 133 breaches have been reported across industries to date this year. As a total, the healthcare industry has the most breaches with 28%. These organizations have also reported the number of records that have been compromised, with almost 13.5M records total. Since HIPAA violations come with a fine of $200-$400 per records, together these companies could pay more than $2.5 billion in fines, at the low end.
With many companies being affected and consumers’ data being compromised, HIPAA has begun to step up audits of companies over the last three years. Compliancy Group estimates that the odds of a random HIPAA audit are 1 in 10,000. To put that in perspective, the odds of a hole-in-one are 1 in 12,500, so you’re more likely to get audited this year than have bragging rights at the clubhouse.
If you want to see how you would fare against a HIPAA audit, we’ve built a HIPAA Compliance Checklist that you can use to self-evaluate and understand where the gaps might be to bring you into compliance. This covers the major items that every organization that handles healthcare information should be doing every year.
If you need help completing your checklist, give us a call to schedule your HIPAA consultation at 509-396-6641 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.