Data breaches of 2018

We hear on the news about data breaches almost daily. Some are credit card theft, our personal information being sold, and then are medical data breaches. These are extremely worrisome as this is where identity theft can start. The medical community is a major target for that very reason, medical records are the main source of complete information to steal personal information.

Do you know how many individual patient records have been compromised in 2018?

11,785,675 patient records were reported as breaches to the Office of Civil Right (OCR) in 2018 that were over 500 records per incident. Keep in mind this does NOT include breaches under 500 records.;jsessionid=3F3012CA56DF3E4D79031A59CCBBBA4D

Plus 944,595 patient records that had been exposed that have already been archived according to the OCR portal.

At the NIST/OCR October conference, they talked about how medical offices use the excuse… “I didn’t know”. They also said that was not an acceptable answer any longer. They can and will fine organizations that are not HIPAA compliant. You are 4 times more likely to get hacked than to have your equipment stolen and this does not even include the breaches caused by unauthorized access. Needless to say data breaches are on the rise no matter what angle you are looking at.

So as we close out 2018 and venture into 2019…
You MUST be diligent and keep up to date on the latest technology for data security.
You MUST make sure your employees are WELL educated on data security.
You MUST document your compliance efforts.

In the words from the Office for Civil Rights, “If it’s not documented, it doesn’t exist”!

Be safe out there in the World Wide Web… it’s a wonderful but dangerous place!

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About Suze Shaffer

Suze Shaffer is the owner and president of Aris Medical Solutions. She specializes in HIPAA compliance, risk management, and cyber security. She believes that by educating her clients in understanding why and what needs to be done to protect their practice they have a better outcome.

Suze has been instrumental in helping clients nationwide with risk management, implementing privacy and security rule policies and procedures, and ultimately protecting patient data. She includes state and federal regulatory requirements to ensure clients are protected in all areas.

She has spoken at numerous conferences and functions. She continues to educate organizations how to minimize the risks of data breaches. HIPAA compliance is not an option, it is mandatory for every organization that comes in contact with protected health information to have reasonable and appropriate security measures in place. Unfortunately, most organizations don’t realize they are not compliant until they suffer a data breach or they are faced with an audit or investigation.

Did you know that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the agency that investigates data breaches? Have you seen the heavy fines that have been imposed for non-compliance?

All 50 states now have their own set of privacy laws and the State's Attorney General may also investigate privacy violations!

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