Citing the stretched health IT resources and heavy workloads healthcare organizations face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal regulators are delaying compliance deadlines for information blocking and health IT interoperability regulations.
Federal regulators have slapped health insurer Aetna with a $1 million HIPAA settlement for three 2017 breaches - including a mailing incident that exposed HIV information - that occurred within six months.
Hacking incidents involving ransomware attacks continue to dominate the 2020 health data breach tally, with incidents affecting two companies - Blackbaud and Magellan Health - accounting for numerous breach notifications by their clients.
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In the tenth HIPAA enforcement action in recent weeks, federal regulators have announced a $100,000 settlement in yet another case involving failure to provide a patient with timely access to their health records.
A 2014 data breach at Community Health Systems that exposed the protected health information of 6.1 million individuals has led to another round of government penalties. This time, the Franklin, Tennessee-based company has agreed to pay $5 million for a settlement with 28 state attorneys general.
In an exclusive interview, Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, which enforces HIPAA, spells out critical steps healthcare organizations must take to safeguard patient information and ensure patient safety in light of the surge in ransomware and other hacking incidents.
The attorneys general of 42 states plus Washington, D.C., have slapped health insurer Anthem with a $39.5 million settlement in the wake of a 2014 cyberattack that affected nearly 79 million individuals. Meanwhile, California's attorney general signed a separate $8.7 million settlement with the insurer.
Premera Blue Cross has agreed to pay a $6.85 million fine, the second largest HIPAA settlement ever announced by federal regulators. The case stems from a 2014 breach, which went undetected for nine months and exposed the information of 10.4 million individuals
Federal regulators have announced a $1.5 million HIPAA settlement with a Georgia orthopedic clinic stemming from a 2016 breach involving The Dark Overlord hacking group. The case serves as a warning of the potentially hefty cost of failure to implement a comprehensive HIPAA compliance program.
Federal regulators have smacked five more healthcare organizations with financial settlements for failing to provide individuals with timely access to health information as required under HIPAA. Earlier, regulators announced two other similar settlements.
If they were offered a substantial monetary payment or they faced certain challenging circumstances, some of those planning to enter the healthcare field admit they'd be willing to unlawfully obtain and disclose patient information, says Chul Woo Yoo, co-author of a recent study by three universities.