What if an employer violates HIPAA?

What if an employer violates HIPAA?

The Office for Civil Rights imposes fines that range from $100 to $50,000 for every violation by covered entities. The penalty amounts skyrocket if your actions were intentional. You risk attracting a fine of up to $250,000 and a ten-year jail sentence if you leaked PHI with intent to sell or for personal gain.

Can an employer violate HIPAA laws?

If you think you have accidentally violated HIPAA Rules or you believe a work colleague or your employer is failing to comply with HIPAA Rules, the potential violation(s) should be reported. Since the passing of the HIPAA Enforcement Rule, HIPAA-covered entities can be financially penalized for HIPAA violations.

What happens when an employee violates HIPAA rules?

When the investigation reveals that an employee has knowingly or unknowingly violated HIPAA Rules, there are consequences as far as the employee is concerned.

What should you do for a Level 1 HIPAA violation?

At any rate, disciplinary action for a level 1 breach isn’t severe in nature. You shouldn’t terminate or suspend an employee over a level 1 breach unless they’re a frequent, repeat offender. Instead, employee discipline for a level 1 breach should include an oral or written warning, coaching, and retraining.

Where can I file a complaint about a HIPAA violation?

If you ever experience a HIPAA violation, you can file a complaint online with the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services. It is also a good idea to contact the organization where a violation may have occurred to file a complaint via their official policy.

Is the new hire paperwork protected by HIPAA?

Employee new hire paperwork, performance review and documentation are generally not protected under HIPAA. Employment decisions based on health information including absences and time off work unless they include the all the information disclosed by a medical professional bulleted above.

What happens if you discover a HIPAA violation in the workplace?

Since the passing of the HIPAA Enforcement Rule, HIPAA-covered entities can be financially penalized for HIPAA violations. If an uncorrected HIPAA violation is discovered during an investigation of a complaint, a data breach or HIPAA audit, the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights may choose to pursue a financial settlement to resolve the violation.

Who was the first healthcare employee to be jailed for HIPAA violation?

Huping Zhou accessed the records of patients without authorization 323 times after learning that he would soon be dismissed. Dr. Zhou became the first healthcare employee to be jailed for a HIPAA violation and was sentenced to four months in federal prison.

What are the settlement amounts for HIPAA violations?

The settlement amounts reflect the seriousness of the violation, the length of time the violation has been allowed to persist, the number of violations identified, and the financial position of the covered entity/business associate.

What does HIPAA mean for employers and employees?

When it comes to topics of privacy especially concerning employee healthcare benefits, HIPAA is one of the most misunderstood and miscommunicated for employers and employees. HIPAA is nebulous and in combination with any employer healthcare plan it creates a great deal of confusion and frustration for managers, HR and employees.