10 Clues of “Willfull Neglect” Under HIPAA / HITECH

The Industry Radar HITECH Webinar is on Thurs, 1/28 – register here.

The largest penalties under HIPAA and all state privacy laws are for “willfull neglect” – up to $1.5 Million

Willful Neglect –the  legal definition – “An omission to do or perform some work, duty, or act.. the failure of responsibility…carelessness and indifference to duty.”

Clueless and cavalier might apply as well…

Here are 10 clues that your firm might be “willfully neglect” under the law:

  1. You are unaware of the new HITECH law and its deadlines
  2. You have signed and/or accepted BA agreements and amendments from insurance carriers or customers that say you are in compliance when you are not
  3. You have no plan to show how you are working on full compliance, despite the fact that you are not in full compliance at the moment.
  4. You have no demonstrable evidence that you are training your staff as required by the regulations. When was the last time that the receptionist received training?
  5. You have a PHI stored on a local server and the server room is not secured.
  6. All you have are legal documents for clients and/or business associates to sign without the underlying processes to support said documents.
  7. You have legal documents but they do not meet the specific requirements contained in the regulations.
  8. Your employees have their passwords on “sticky notes” that are readily visible.
  9. You have not implemented (and have no idea regarding) HHS’ guidance for securing protected health information (PHI).
  10. You have no plan for notifying your clients (and potentially the media) when your unsecured PHI has been breached.

HITECH Judgment Day – 2/17/2010 – is 28 days away. How is your compliance work coming?

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