The 5 Stages of Grief HIPAA HITECH Style

The five stages of grief is something all of us have experienced in our personal lives at one time or another.

It is amazing how similar many conversations I have every day with brokers are to these stages.

Denial is not a river and I have had some funny ones here often being accused of making up the rules that are required. In fact I had one women who did not believe my description of breaches and reporting and told me to “Prove it!”.

Anger is often funny in its  inevitable attempt to “blame” Obama or Congress or socialists. You name it. HIPAA has been created an expanded  by the last 3 administrations so blame Rove, Limbaugh and Cheney or Bin Laden and UFOs while you’re at it.

I love the Bargaining discussions  they are the best ! “Can I buy some forms on line and fill them out?” Can’t I just password protect my files?” “What is the very least I can get away with?”.

Ah, “Pennywise is Poundfoolish” as old Ben Franklin said.

Depression is almost comical when a multimillion dollar business owner is whining about this isn’t fair and how spending a few thousand dollars to help prevent identity theft of customer data and protect his business is going to kill him.

But Acceptance is the all time classic! Nothing gets someone’s attention faster that hearing their main competitors are actually taking HITECH seriously and are using encryption or getting a call from their clients asking them to get that BA agreement signed!

Whatever stage your organization is in the bottom line is that you are now 2 weeks past the compliance date. Security incidents and data breaches are occurring as we speak and the smell of “willful neglect”  is in the air.

In this electronic age security in all that we do is going to become a core business operations issue. Just like computers and then the web have changed your business so will operating in a manner that treats all your client data as secure in all that you do.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well” and that is especially true here. Skimping or half measures are of no value when one privacy breach could destroy your business or cost you a major customer.

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