The largest fine ever assessed under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has sent providers of medical services scrambling to audit their information systems.
The Importance of Securing Information
Advocate Health Care is a network that operates various hospitals in the Chicago metropolitan area. A single, self-reported incident in 2013 prompted government regulators to begin their investigation. By the inspector concluded their review, they determined that over four million patient records were potentially left unprotected.
Some of the deficiencies cited by regulators included:
- Advocate Health Care did not implement adequate HIPAA measures.
- The network failed to provide physical and digital security to patient records.
- An unsecured laptop was left inside an unlocked car.
The $5.5 million fine is a stern reminder that HIPAA is serious business and that regulators are not waiting for data breaches or other major incidents to occur before taking action.
Be Proactive in Protecting Your Network Security
If you are a High Desert healthcare provider subject to HIPAA, you should know that Health and Human Services is being proactive in its audits. The aforementioned imposition of a fine should be a wake-up call.
The Sonic Systems Complete Network Audit is an excellent first step towards full HIPAA compliance. This audit can be followed by an application of the Network Detective module, which is designed for HIPAA compliance. If your business is a covered entity with in-house network administrators, they need to be familiar with this compliance module.
Don’t wait until it is too late to ensure that your HIPAA compliance is up to par. If you have HIPAA questions, please contact Sonic Systems today.