HIPAA gets … HIP !

Posted on 31 March 2011

The first quarter of 2011 seems to have kicked off with a pure blast of regulatory activity in the data protection and privacy legislation space, it seems like governments and industry specific regulators the world over are suddenly waking up from a deep sleep and the drum of compliance is beating louder than ever before. Over on the far side of the pond our US colleagues are subject to a particular piece of legislation known as “HIPAA” (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) – in short, this mouthful relates to the protection of patients medical data. At the end of February, the US Department of Health and Human Services opened its mouth and barked – rather loudly … to the tune of $4.3m to be exact (yes, million…). A Maryland based healthcare organisation was fined $3m for failure to co-operate and hand over records and another $1m for failing to give patients access to their own medical records on request. Swiftly following this Massachusetts General Hospital was fined $1m for a data breach involving 192 patients. These fines are not trivial and reflect a global move by regulators to whip organisations into shape in relation to due care and attention to protection of personal data. We expect to see more fines imposed over the coming months as the US Department of Health and Human Services begins to offer training for attorney generals and their staff in how to file HIPAA federal lawsuits. The problem of is not compliance with all of these regulations… its the complexity of the detail required to comply – and that’s what we do at Isolate, we simplify compliance … but more of that later Winking smile

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