Lahey Hospital and Medical Center Fined $850K for Potential HIPAA Security Violations | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Lahey Hospital and Medical Center Fined $850K for Potential HIPAA Security Violations

November 25, 2015
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

Burlington, Mass.-based Lahey Hospital and Medical Center this week agreed to pay $850,000 to settle potential  violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules stemming from a 2011 security breach.

The settlement was agreed upon with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR). In addition to the fines, Lahey Hospital will adopt a robust corrective action plan to correct deficiencies in its HIPAA compliance program. 

The potential violations stem from a security breach incident in October 2011 when Lahey Hospital reported that an unencrypted laptop used in connection with a computerized tomography (CT) scanner was stolen from the hospital’s radiology department, according to the HHS OCR resolution agreement. The laptop contained 599 patients’ electronic protected health information (ePHI).

According to an HHS OCR press release, the HIPAA settlement reinforces lessons for users of medical devices. As hospitals and health centers become more connected, it’s common for medical devices to be controlled and operated remotely, which poses certain security risks.

As a result of the security breach due to the laptop theft, OCR investigated Lahey Hospital’s compliance with HIPAA Rules and, according to the OCR resolution agreement, the agency found problems with the hospital’s security practices, such as failure to assign unique user names and a lack of physical safeguards to secure the laptop and restrict access to authorized users. According to the OCR, Lahey also failed to conduct an accurate and thorough analysis of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of its ePHI as part of its security management process and did not implement policies and procedures for the removal of hardware and electronic medic that contain ePHI into and out of its facility.

As part of the settlement, Lahey Hospital also will have to conduct an organization-wide risk analysis of the security risks and vulnerabilities to its ePHI and must submit the risk analysis and risk management plan to OCR.

 

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

Healthcare Execs Anticipate High Cost Returns from Predictive Analytics Use

Healthcare executives are dedicating budget to predictive analytics, and are forecasting significant cost savings in return, according to new research from the Illinois-based Society of Actuaries.

Adam Boehler Tapped by Azar to Serve as Senior Value-Based Care Advisor

Adam Boehler, currently director of CMMI, has also been named the senior advisor for value-based transformation and innovation, HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced.

Vivli Launches Clinical Research Data-Sharing Platform

On July 19 a new global data-sharing and analytics platform called Vivli was unveiled. The nonprofit group’s mission is to promote, coordinate and facilitate scientific sharing and reuse of clinical research data.

Survey: More Effective IT Needed to Improve Patient Safety

In a Health Catalyst survey, physicians, nurses and healthcare executives said ineffective information technology, and the lack of real-time warnings for possible harm events, are key obstacles to achieving their organizations' patient safety goals.

Physicians Still Reluctant to Embrace Virtual Tech, Survey Finds

While consumers and physicians agree that virtual healthcare holds great promise for transforming care delivery, physicians still remain reluctant to embrace the technologies, according to a new Deloitte Center for Health Solutions survey.

Geisinger, AstraZeneca Partner on Asthma App Suite

Geisinger has partnered with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to create a suite of products that integrate into the electronic health record and engage asthma patients and their providers in co-managing the disease.