Will YOU Wind Up on the HIPAA Wall of Shame?
Officially known as the Health and Human Services Breach Portal but often called “The Wall of Shame”, this is where you do not want your organization listed! When a breach occurs that affects more than 500 individuals, the name of the organization, the type of breach and how many people were affected are posted on the Wall of Shame for everyone to see!
If YOUR organization has a breach that affects over 500 individuals, the name of YOUR organization will be placed on the Office for Civil Rights Breach Portal website (The Wall of Shame)...and it will be there for permanent viewing!
As reported by the HIPAA Journal:
Between 2009 and 2018 there have been 2,546 healthcare data breaches involving more than 500 records, resulting in the theft and exposure of 189,945,874 healthcare records!
This means more than 59% of the population of the United States has been affected by data breaches, and healthcare data breaches are now being reported at the rate of more than one per day!
These breaches are not happening in big cities far away, but are happening right here!
In just the first 5 months of 2019, the data of 12 Twin Cities healthcare organizations have been breached and are now exposed on The Wall of Shame!
And there are some pretty big Minnesota healthcare brand names now residing on The Wall!
Less then 1% of all healthcare breaches are reported, so the Wall of Shame is truly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the enormity of data breaches occurring in our country daily.
In addition to appearing on the Wall of Shame, here are the repercussions you can expect for a data breach:
- HIPAA fines/settlement
- Legal fees
- Data forensics
- Breach notification
- Data monitoring for impacted individuals
- Harmful impact to your reputation
Researchers from the HIPAA Journal found that the theft of Protected Health Information by outsiders was the cause for the most significant number of the overall breaches. The next largest cause was email mistakes (phishing attacks). However, the most surprising statistic from the report explained that over 53% of all breaches were caused by human error...PREVENTABLE internal errors and neglect!
A Most Critical Point to Remember: Organized and coordinated cyber-attacks are hitting healthcare organizations every day...but the truth is that the Russians, Chinese or North Koreans are not your biggest worry. Your best defense is your ability to administer and train your employees correctly because this will have the biggest impact for keeping confidential data safe...and avoiding your placement on the Wall of Shame!
April 2019 was the worst month ever for healthcare data breaches
More healthcare data breaches were recorded in April 2019 than ever before, the most since the Office for Civil Rights began reporting them in 2009..and the remainder of this year appears to be following the same trend. Remember...there is a data breach reported in the healthcare industry every single day. Are you next?
How can you protect yourself?
Protection begins by creating a ‘culture of compliance’ in your organization, no matter how big or small your organization is. Following a set plan and protocol, and giving your designated Compliance Officer the budget and time to protect your organization, is crucial.
You can also protect yourself with a Business Service Provider like Imagine IT. We have been working with healthcare organizations for nearly 25 years, and created The HIPAA Security Shield to master your compliance efforts. Reach out to us here to start a conversation today!
The Wall of Shame is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Click here to see the Wall of Shame for yourself, a place you'll NEVER be listed with Imagine IT.