The nation's new chief HIPAA enforcer views the protection of privacy as an important way to help ensure patients have access to care. And his passion about the issue means you can expect HIPAA enforcement efforts to intensify in the months ahead.
About 4.9 million patients treated in San Antonio area military treatment facilities since 1992 have been affected by a health information breach involving the theft of backup tapes for electronic health records.
With the announcement of a breach affecting 4.9 million patients in the Defense Department's TRICARE healthcare program, there have now been five incidents that each affected at least 1 million individuals since the HIPAA breach notification rule took effect.
Only one of three national breach notification bills that won approval in the Senate Judiciary Committee last week would address a gap in protections for healthcare information, says Harley Geiger of the Center for Democracy & Technology.
Federal authorities deserve credit for adding privacy and security details to the final version of the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, several observers say. But some still believe the document doesn't go far enough in spelling out specific action steps and priorities.
News about recent healthcare information breaches offers an important reminder: Monitoring the privacy and security procedures of your business associates should be a vital component of any breach prevention strategy.