HHS OCR Launches Revised HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

HHS OCR Launches Revised HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool

July 25, 2017
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a revised web tool, the breach portal, or “Wall of Shame” as it’s known in the healthcare industry, that the agency says features ease-of-use for organizations reporting data breach incidents.

HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) says the revised web tool, which can be found at https://ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/breach/breach_report.jsf, puts important information into the hands of individuals, empowering them to better identify recent breaches of health information and to learn how all breaches of health information are investigated and successfully resolved. 

In the past, many healthcare industry leaders and federal lawmakers have voiced concerns about the negative impact of a public data breach portal, or “Wall of Shame.” During a House Energy and Commerce Oversight subcommittee hearing on healthcare cybersecurity back in June, members of the subcommittee said that penalties from the Office of Civil Rights and the data breach portal “Wall of Shame” was, in effect, “victimizing the victims” of data breaches.

According to OCR officials, the HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool (HBRT), also known as the HHS OCR breach portal, features improved navigation for both those looking for information on breaches and ease-of-use for organizations reporting incidents, the agency says. “The tool also helps educate the industry on the types of breaches that are occurring, industry-wide or within particular sectors, and how breaches are commonly resolved following investigations launched by OCR, which can help industry improve the security posture of their organizations,” the agency stated in an announcement.

HHS OCR originally released the HBRT in 2009, as required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The HRBT makes available to the public information that entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) report to OCR when they are involved in breaches of unsecured protected health information of 500 or more individuals.  The tool includes: the name of the entity; state where the entity is located; number of individuals affected by the breach; the date of the breach; type of breach (e.g., hacking/IT incident, theft, loss, unauthorized access/disclosure); and location of the breached information (e.g., laptop, paper records, desktop computer). 

HIPAA also requires the covered entity to promptly notify affected individuals of a breach, and, in some cases, notify the media. 

New features of the HBRT include enhanced functionality that highlights breaches currently under investigation and reported within the last 24 months; new archive that includes all older breaches and information about how breaches were resolved; improved navigation to additional breach information and tips for consumers.

“HHS plans on expanding and improving the site over time to add functionality and features based on feedback. The HBRT provides transparency to the public and organizations covered by HIPAA and helps highlight the importance of safeguards to protect the privacy and security of sensitive health care information,” the agency stated. 

 

 

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Study: EHRs Tied with Lower Hospital Mortality, But Only After Systems Have Matured

Over the past decade, there has been significant national investment in electronic health record (EHR) systems at U.S. hospitals, which was expected to result in improved quality and efficiency of care. However, evidence linking EHR adoption to better care is mixed, according to medical researchers.

Nursing Notes Can Help Predict ICU Survival, Study Finds

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario have found that sentiments in healthcare providers’ nursing notes can be good indicators of whether intensive care unit (ICU) patients will survive.

Health Catalyst Completes Acquisition of HIE Technology Company Medicity

Salt Lake City-based Health Catalyst, a data analytics company, has completed its acquisition of Medicity, a developer of health information exchange (HIE) technology, and the deal adds data exchange capabilities to Health Catalyst’s data, analytics and decision support solutions.

Advocate Aurora Health, Foxconn Plan Employee Wellness, “Smart City,” and Precision Medicine Collaboration

Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora Health is partnering with Foxconn Health Technology Business Group, a Taiwanese company, to develop new technology-driven healthcare services and tools.

Healthcare Data Breach Costs Remain Highest at $408 Per Record

The cost of a data breach for healthcare organizations continues to rise, from $380 per record last year to $408 per record this year, as the healthcare industry also continues to incur the highest cost for data breaches compared to any other industry, according to a new study from IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute.

Morris Leaves ONC to Lead VA Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization

Genevieve Morris, who has been detailed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from her position as the principal deputy national coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Services, will move over full time to lead the newly establishment VA Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization.