Three Most Common HIPAA Violations

common hipaa violations

What can your medical practice learn from the most common HIPAA violations? Since every clinic or medical practice in the United States must follow the HIPAA Privacy Rule to protect their patients and avoid legal penalties, awareness is crucial. Failing to abide by the HIPAA guidelines will only lead to hefty fines and may even jeopardize your healthcare clinic. 

Unfortunately, HIPAA violations are more common than many medical practitioners realize. Below, PracticeForces lists the most prevalent violations so that you can take the necessary precautions to ensure your full compliance.

PracticeForces is one of Florida’s leading medical billing and coding services. We understand how to follow HIPAA in medical billing, including improving your clinic’s coding accuracy and efficiency. If you want your medical practice to reach its full potential, get in touch with PracticeForces today to learn more!

The Most Common Violations of HIPAA in the United States

When the HIPAA Privacy Rule came into effect in 1996, it aimed to protect every patient’s medical information and prevent waste, abuse, and fraud. So, violating the HIPAA guidelines has dire consequences, including substantial fines and potential criminal charges that include jail time. 

If you can understand these HIPAA violations, you might be able to prevent legal consequences. You can also ensure your patients’ sensitive information remains safe and sound.

Below are three common HIPAA violations that can adversely affect your medical practice.

#1 Accessing Private Medical Records

The HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibits unauthorized access to a patient’s medical records. 

Healthcare practitioners shouldn’t snoop on their patient’s private medical records nor neglect adequate security measures to protect these records. Failing to protect a patient’s medical information or accessing it without authorization will violate HIPAA. The results can be anything from termination of employment to fines and jail time.

#2 Failing To Complete an Organization-Wide Risk Analysis

Every medical practice must conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities within their clinic. However, many establishments don’t perform enough risk analyses, or any at all, leaving them susceptible to data breaches and other potential problems. 

Performing routine risk assessments will ensure your practice follows HIPAA’s requirements. It is also helpful in exposing weak points that allow unauthorized access to private information.

#3 Inadequate Filing and Document Disposal

Incorrect filing and document disposal will often happen due to human error. However, these issues easily expose sensitive medical information and reduce your clinic’s efficiency. 

Accidents are sometimes unavoidable, but implementing an effective document filing and disposal system will reduce problems. Why not provide additional training to new employees to ensure they fully understand the filing and disposal procedure? It could safeguard your patients’ records.

Contact PracticeForces for Professional Medical Coding and Billing Services in Florida

Do you need help organizing and implementing accurate medical codes and billing? The team at PracticeForces has extensive HIPAA training and will help your clinic improve HIPAA compliance to prevent violations. 

If you want more tips on avoiding common HIPAA violations or help to streamline your clinic’s coding and billing, call PracticeForces at (727) 499-0351 today! You can also complete our online form to get in touch with us.

Parul Garg, CEO and co-founder of PracticeForces, has significantly contributed to the growth of over 1,000 U.S. medical practices through her expertise in medical billing and coding since the company’s inception in 2003. With a background in Computer Science and an MBA in Human Resources, her leadership and AAPC-certified coding skills have been pivotal in managing the company’s operations effectively.

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