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HIPAA Compliance Security Assessments

by | Jan 31, 2024 | All, compliance,cybersecurity,healthcare IT | 0 comments

HIPAA compliance security assessments protect medical practices | Varay Managed IT, San Antonio and El PasoIf you operate (no pun intended) within the health care industry, it is absolutely worth your time and resources to invest in regular HIPAA compliance security assessments.

Too many medical practices and health care organizations have gaping holes in their IT security and PHI protection policies. These gaps are just one hacker (or even one forgetful employee) away from destroying an organization’s reputation and viability.

In Texas this year we’ve seen the stuff of health care industry nightmares:

  • A stolen (unencrypted) hard drive with 76,000 orthopedics patients’ PHI
  • A $1.6M settlement over an error in a web application that made the PHI of Medicaid recipients accessible on the internet
  • Physical boxes full of optometry patient PHI discovered in a publicly accessible dumpster

The really shocking thing about these incidents is that they each could have been avoided. And each of the patients who had their PHI exposed to identity theft (and the stinging loss of privacy) could have been spared — if only the practices involved had done their duty to protect them with HIPAA-compliant strategies.

 

Why compliance assessments matter

Medical offices, hospitals, and other health care businesses account for 60% of reported data breaches, which cost 176% more than breaches in other industries (per compromised record)!

Health care organizations who don’t have HIPAA security assessments are risking astronomical losses | Varay Managed IT, San Antonio and El PasoThere are four tiers of HIPAA compliance violation penalties, ranging from $100 per compromised record to $1.5 million per violation per year.

Even at the first tier, where a health care entity has a breach due to no fault or willful negligence of their own, a $100 penalty per record could easily hit the $1.5 million per year cap and devastate the practice.

Though thorough HIPAA compliance security assessments may not sparkle on proposals like projects that increase revenue, the ROI in terms of loss prevention or opportunity cost makes them an easy choice.

 

How HIPAA compliance security assessments work

Compliance assessments can be performed by a third party (which is actually the best way to administer them) so your team won’t suffer any downtime. Skilled IT professionals work from a dynamic vantage point to safely test your defenses and scour your processes for areas where PHI could be compromised.

It’s crucial to work with a team that has experience performing HIPAA security assessments, and not just general IT security, because you’re responsible for protecting the confidentiality, ensuring integrity, and safeguarding the availability of your patients’ health information.

A single gap in your passwords, software, policies, or patch management system could create the pathway for a devastating breach. IT experts who are well acquainted with HIPAA have insight into current threats and trends in health care breaches. They know how to go beyond compliance and introduce proactive security measures.

A HIPAA security assessment will identify threats, risks, and areas of vulnerability to protect your medical practice | Varay Managed IT, San Antonio and El PasoAnother enormous benefit of having a HIPAA compliance security assessment performed is that you’ll have a review of your disaster recovery and business continuity plans. These worst-case scenario plans can make or break an organization when the unexpected happens, and they should always be updated as your business (and the threat landscape) changes.

 

Schedule your HIPAA security assessment today

If you’re in the health care industry, the two wisest investments you can make are in HIPAA compliance and strong IT security. A HIPAA security assessment can give you both. Take the first step in protecting your organization from health care breaches, HIPAA penalty fees, and a crushing loss of reputation.

Contact us today to schedule your HIPAA compliance security assessment. Varay stands with you as a trusted partner in securing your practice against current threats and protecting your patients’ PHI.

Click the button below and check “HIPAA Assessment” so we can start your compliance and security assessment as soon as possible.

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