Is Your Medical Practice HIPAA-Compliant?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed in 1996. The act sets standards for how sensitive patient data should be stored and protected. Any company that deals with protected health information (PHI) is required to have certain security measures in place to ensure HIPAA Compliance.
The maximum penalty for failure to comply with the federal regulation is $1.5 million per violation. In 2018, Anthem Health Insurance was fined $16,000,000 for failure to meet HIPAA requirements. If your medical business has not taken a serious look at its online protections, your business could be in danger or a cybersecurity breach and subsequent fines.
By partnering with StrongBox eSolutions, your medical business can ensure that its online billing and patient finance options are fully HIPAA compliant. StrongBox stores sensitive patient payment information on our proprietary cloud-based servers to ensure that would-be hackers are not able to gain access to patient credit card information.
What is HIPAA?
In the mid-1990s, when HIPAA legislation was passed, the healthcare industry was transitioning to electronic storage of patient data. HIPAA was later supplemented with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which outlines penalties for health organizations that violate HIPAA rules. Medical businesses are required to have a data protection strategy in place to ensure that:
- Patient information is readily available and secure
- Medical companies have information integrity controls in place
- Sensitive data is controlled throughout the organization
Cybercrime is a real and growing threat. Healthcare organizations are often targets of these online criminals. In 2018, 43 percent of businesses were a victim of an online breach, according to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey. The total cost attributed to cybercrime will rise to $6 billion dollars in 2021, according to Cyber Security Ventures.
Penalties for Failure to Meet HIPAA Guidelines
Fines associated with HIPAA violations are based on the level of negligence your company is found to be guilty of. The fines range from $100 to $50,000 per violation. HIPAA fines are based on the following categories:
- Tier one: Companies that could not have reasonably known about a breach are subject to fines of $100 to $500 per incident.
- Tier two: A medical company that should have reasonably known about a data breach can face fines of $1,000 to $50,000 per incident.
- Tier three: A business that is found to be willfully negligent can face fees of $10,000 to $50,000 per incident.
- Tier four: If a company neglected to protect data and failed to take steps to correct that failure the business can face fines of $50,000 per incident.
How Can My Medical Business Become HIPAA Compliant?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) set high standards for how sensitive patient data is protected. Strong Box’s cloud-based storage systems are fully compliant with the guidelines. Our cloud-based servers are a superior alternative to maintaining an in-house server. Cloud-based servers are more secure and can be maintained at a lower cost. Our servers are also protected against viruses and potential ransomware. PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) standards apply to any company that accepts credit and debit card transactions. StrongBox meets these guidelines as well.
Protect Your Medical Business from Fees and Penalties Using StrongBox
If your medical business is not fully in compliance with HIPAA patient data storage requirements, you may be putting your company’s profits at risk. Beyond fees, an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services can erode patient trust and cause PR headaches. By partnering with StrongBox, you can assure your patients, business partners, and investors that your company is fully HIPAA-compliant. To schedule your consultation with our Boca Raton office, please contact us online or call (855) 468-7876.