Mass. Provider Pays $1.5 Million to HHS for Data Breach | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Mass. Provider Pays $1.5 Million to HHS for Data Breach

September 18, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will collect $1.5 million from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Associates Inc. (MEEI) as a settlement for potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Security Rule that occurred when a laptop containing electronic protected health information (ePHI) was stolen. MEEI also agreed to take action while improving policies and procedures to safeguard patients’ protected health information.

The information contained on the laptop included patient prescriptions and clinical information. According to the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (ONCR), MEEI failed to take necessary steps to comply with certain requirements of the Security Rule, such as conducing a risk to the confidentiality of ePHI maintained on portable devices, implementing security measures sufficient to ensure the confidentiality of ePHI that MEEI created, maintained, and transmitted using portable devices, adopting and implementing policies and procedures to restrict access to ePHI to authorized users of portable devices, and adopting and implementing policies and procedures to address security incident identification, reporting, and response

“In an age when health information is stored and transported on portable devices such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, special attention must be paid to safeguarding the information held on these devices,” OCR Director Leon Rodriguez said in a statement. “This enforcement action emphasizes that compliance with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules must be prioritized by management and implemented throughout an organization, from top to bottom.”

HHS OCR enforces the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, as well as the HITECH Breach Notification Rule.

Topics

News

Survey: By 2019, 60% of Medicare Revenues will be Tied to Risk

Medical groups and health systems that are members of AMGA (the American Medical Group Association) expect that nearly 60 percent of their revenues from Medicare will be from risk-based products by 2019, according to the results from a recent survey.

83% of Physicians Have Experienced a Cyber Attack, Survey Finds

Eighty-three percent of physicians in a recent survey said that they have experienced some sort of cyber attack, such as phishing and viruses.

Community Data Sharing: Eight Recommendations From San Diego

A learning guide focuses on San Diego’s experience in building a community health information exchange and the realities of embarking on a broad community collaboration to achieve better data sharing.

HealthlinkNY’s Galanis to Step Down as CEO

Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.

Email-Related Cyber Attacks a Top Concern for Providers

U.S. healthcare providers overwhelmingly rank email as the top source of a potential data breach, according to new research from email and data security company Mimecast and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.