Staying compliant in an ever-changing digital world is a constant struggle for medical offices. The office of Civil Rights performs healthcare audits and fines practices for HIPAA violations. Fines for violations can range from $100 to $50,000 capping at $1.5 million annually. Unfortunately, fines are not the only potential cost the practice can face. HIPAA violations can also cost the practice public trust and loss of patients.
Many HIPAA breaches are the result of employee theft and carelessness, which put smaller practices more at risk. It is becoming increasingly difficult for offices to regulate and monitor communication activity with the popularity of mobile devices. HIPAA violations can easily occur without the practice even realizing it.
Social media is also a threat to patient security. Employees at the practice taking selfies with patients in the background, or accidentally capturing a patient chart in a photo may violate patient confidentiality. Physician offices must update a security risk analysis and social media is a major reason why practices fail meaningful use audits.
Implementing security risk analysis and training for HIPAA safeguards take time, money, and energy. The revenue generated from ancillary programs, like physician dispensing, will allow practices to hire staff tasked specifically to oversee projects and procedures described above.
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