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Articles > HIPAA Violations - How to Avoid Them

HIPAA Violations - How to Avoid Them

by HIPAA on April 13, 2014

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, (HIPAA), is intended to protect private information and data and to make sure that the health care system is more efficient. Since technology is widely used in hospitals, the availability of information about patients, their healthcare portfolios and general patient care has greatly improved. However, technology makes it easy for healthcare providers to lose or share patient information without a patient's consent and create potential HIPAA violations.

HIPAA Violations

HIPAA Violations   How to Avoid Them
It takes a lot of discipline to comply with HIPAA policies and it is important for employees to take training courses that will help them know what to do to avoid making HIPAA violations. If a HIPAA violation occurs, the consequences can be minimal or serious. A healthcare professional who is found to have violated HIPAA policies may pay hefty fines or serve a jail term. The common HIPAA violations that can take place in a workplace include the following;

Failure To Maintain Oral Privacy:

Oral privacy is one of the HIPAA provisions that can be demanding for healthcare providers to comply with. This is especially the case with ignorant employees who access patient information. They may not think that it is wrong to mention a patient's name or tell other people about the current health condition of a patient. When this happens, the employee concerned can be fined, jailed or have his/her medical license revoked. If the HIPAA violations occurred accidentally, the fine will could range from $100 to $1,000 dollars per violation.

Failure To Safeguard Information Sent Via Email:

This common HIPAA violations, which involves failing to ensure that third parties cannot access information about a patient that is sent through email. The best way to avoid making this violation is using data protection and recovery measures and having adequate knowledge about cyber security.

Looking at Patient Files Without A Valid Reason:

This is a common HIPAA violations that can be committed by insurance providers, healthcare professionals or staff members. HIPAA regulations state that it is illegal to look at the information of a patient for no reason. Implementing this regulation is hard and it is also very hard to prove that such a violation occurred. However, it is essential for all workplaces that deal with patient information to be aware of this regulation in order to improve the standards of the professional healthcare that patients receive.

Failure To Destroy All Old Patient Information:

Healthcare providers who have access to confidential patient information are supposed to destroy old information about the patients in a systematic manner. When this fails to happen, it is considered to be a violation of HIPAA regulations. The Act stipulates that healthcare providers should properly destroy confidential information so that it cannot be misused and avoid HIPAA violations.

HIPAA Violations

Healthcare providers should take measures that will ensure that HIPAA regulations are followed. One thing that they can do is to appoint an individual who will be in charge of reviewing the procedures and policies relating to patients. They also need to take security measures to ensure that sensitive information is not misused. All healthcare workers also need to receive training about HIPAA regulations through regular training courses that will keep them up to date with new guidelines to avoid HIPAA violations.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

heri September 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm

If you were quoteing what someone said then yes if not then no. You would have to change it to "I just went there for one thing" :)

luce October 11, 2012 at 8:29 am

Terrorist recruiters at the masjid, the imam was a planner in a terrorist plot, those seem valid reasons to me.

hornell October 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Probably the date he got his license in Texas, as you need to get a medical license in each state you practice in. Find out when he graduated med school.

burt vann November 1, 2012 at 4:56 am

First of all, if your friend's mom works in at "at will" state, she can be terminated for any reason whatsoever, except discrimination.

Second, she had PHI (private health information) of a patient in her possession and was heading out the door with it. Unintentional or not, that is definitely a HIPAA violation which would warrant a warning at minimum. It can be grounds for termination and I think it sounds like her employer was looking for a reason to fire her.

kas sakamavrom November 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Your first sentence is all in the present tense, as if it's happening now. The second sentence is in the past tense. They need to be the same, because they both refer to things which happened in the past. The last sentence is in the correct tense because they are still in jail now, in the present.

I don't know what 'join the theater' means. If they wanted to see a play at the theater, then we would say "They all wanted to go to the theater". If they wanted to stage a play, then we would say "They all wanted to form a theater company".

I think I would write:

"They all wanted to go to the theater, but they had no money, and they made a plan to earn money by breaking into the neighbour's house. When they entered the house by breaking a window pane, they saw the owner of the house with a pistol in one hand and a knife in the other hand. Seeing the pistol and the knife in the owner's hand, they fainted and got caught by the police. Thus they are now serving their jail term".

kibarena November 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

If you're going to pretend to be a healthcare worker, that is cash the paychecks, then you are one.

The really absurd thing here is that we allow people to collect a state check for taking care of their own children, yet that doesn't upset you at all.

Fake healthcare workers can pay dues too.

rebin piette December 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Metathione is a name for Glutathione and I found something written it's just a small blurb but,

"Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid the use of supplementary glutathione. Women who are pregnant or nursing should discontinue all supplements except as directed by their healthcare providers"

And then this…

24. Can pregnant or nursing women take the product?

No. Glutathione play an important role in the development and growth of the fetus, maintenance of a healthy pregnancy and even before pregnancy, in fertility and conception. It also protects both mother and fetus from the damaging effects of free radicals and oxidative stress. However, Alpha Lipoic Acid is not recommended to pregnant women. Therefore, pregnant and even nursing women who wishes to use the product must wait until they have already given birth or have already finished their nursing period.

brochar cungardelu December 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

suelle December 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm

I think our problem here is this:
When someone ask a Question YA Automatically suggests a category from words such as, "horse" "saddle" "race" "track" "groom" "trainer" …etc etc. The person does not know that he (or she)has the option to change the category,Therefore submitting it to whatever category is checked.

A question was asked today about Tampa Bay Jerseys (Check it Out) Because "Tampa Bay" is a well known Race Track it went into the wrong category.

law December 24, 2012 at 2:20 am

First, it's HIPAA (only one "P"). It stands for "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act".

Billing is not covered under HIPAA. Only the actual care received is. And, it doesn't sound like they provided details of the bill, just that the mother needs to call them back. This is also legal under FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).

pirollba January 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm

The crime would be burglary, theft, tampering with records unlawful use of a computer and most likely extortion and or or criminal coercion. The fact that medical records are protected by HIPPA has no related criminal penalties.

Good find on the Federal Statues on HIPPA statute. except it is still not "criminal" read the link "established a tiered civil penalty structure for HIPAA violations" civil penalties are not crimes.

gov January 29, 2013 at 8:53 am

You really should speak to the HR person at this lab you are going to work at.

If you go on you can search "immunizations" and it will pull the Recommended Vaccine Schedule. Depending on your age, you can just look down the chart to see what vaccines someone of your age would need. There is also a category of "health care provider" and you might want to look in that column of the chart as well.

hug edocks February 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm

more than likely yes after he serves a jail term in Federal prison

russarnie lor March 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I think our problem here is this:
When someone ask a Question YA Automatically suggests a category from words such as, "horse" "saddle" "race" "track" "groom" "trainer" …etc etc. The person does not know that he (or she)has the option to change the category,Therefore submitting it to whatever category is checked.

A question was asked today about Tampa Bay Jerseys (Check it Out) Because "Tampa Bay" is a well known Race Track it went into the wrong category.

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