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Dentists Beware: HIPAA Has Teeth

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Patient Attraction Episode 905

What happens when a hospital ignores security vulnerabilities with its patient information? They wind up paying a lot of money, among other things. I’ll be back with the details and the implications for dentists, when we come back.

– I’m Colin Receveur, and welcome to the Patient Attraction Podcast™.

– The University of Mississippi Medical Center paid a high price for ignoring cybersecurity problems that they’d known about for years.

– In August, the hospital agreed to a $2.75 million settlement for HIPAA violations.

– The Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights found that the hospital knew of their system’s vulnerabilities as far back as 2005.

– However, nothing was done until a laptop was reported stolen, and 10,000 patients’ records were put at risk.

– Adding to its problems, the hospital failed to notify patients whose information may have been compromised.

– How many patients do you keep electronic records on?

– And when was the last time you had your electronic system audited for potential security issues?

– Do you have a system in place to notify you of breaches of patient information?

– As the University of Mississippi Medical Center case proves, HIPAA can nail you for what you failed to do.

– Your dental practice doesn’t need the bad press, the loss of patient trust, or the financial penalties for a HIPAA violation.

– So take action today to make sure that your system is as protected against intrusion or accidental data loss as it can be.

– And patient information should never leave your practice.

– Far too many breaches occur when a laptop is stolen, or forgotten while traveling.

– If you must carry patient information – for instance, for a presentation – make sure it’s thoroughly scrubbed of all potentially identifying information.

– HIPAA definitely has teeth, and you don’t want to be bitten.

– Join me for our next podcast.

– Until then, keep moving forward.

 

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