HIPAA Violations in the News

By: BJ Neller   /   September 21, 2016

There has been much talk in the news lately about the damage that carelessly handled medical records can cause to individuals and businesses. At Secure Waste Disposal, Inc. we understand that the confidential handling and disposal of medical records is among the most sensitive and potentially damaging tasks that our company performs. Moreover, we know that overseeing all healthcare clients’ activities in this regard is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which safeguards medical information and seeks to hold companies and individuals accountable when those safeguards are ignored. Since, as a healthcare provider you are already familiar with this law here are some recent cases involving HIPAA violations and the subsequent penalties for these breaches.

  • In August of 2016 Advocate Health Care reached a $5.55 million settlement for alleged HIPAA violations.
  • In July of 2016 the University of Mississippi Medical Center reached a $2.75 million dollar settlement for failing to secure electronic data.
  • In December of 2015, Lahey Hospital reached a $850,000 settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights over a security breach involving an unsecured laptop that contained patient records.
  • In September of 2015, Cancer Care Group, PC reached a $750,000 settlement with the government regarding a breach of unsecured electronic protected health information.
  • In August of 2014 a former Texas hospital worker was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for criminal HIPAA violations.
  • In May of 2014 Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center paid $4.8 million to settle allegations that it violated HIPAA laws when it allowed the electronic protected health information of 6,800 patients to wind up on the search engine Google.
  • In April of 2014 Concentra Health Services had to pay $1.73 million for improperly handling confidential records encryption and destruction.

Your company does not have to be next in line in what are increasingly harsh penalties for confidentiality violations. Although many of these cases involve the mishandling of electronic data, HIPAA also protects paper documents where they are still used by healthcare professionals. That is why we specialize in paper waste management. Confidential waste disposal is vitally important to patients and the institutions upon which they rely. Your company is too busy growing to confront charges for such violations. That is why we assure our clients that our employees understand and comply with HIPAA.  Wouldn’t you prefer your company be in the news for one of its achievements rather than one of its failures?"bio waste"