If you visit the HHS website, they have a page that lists HIPAA Violation examples by case and the penalties they incurre. These are interesting and frightening when you see the fine amount. Some sources mistakenly state that the maximum HIPAA fine is 1.5 million but this is inaccurate. The maximum fine for the same types of violations is 1.5 million dollars. This means that if you have other types of HIPAA violations as well, additional fines are added. There is no cap on the total monetary fine possible.
If one reads through the cases, two things become instantly clear. Number one, HIPAA isn’t playing.
Number two, physical security is VITAL with HIPAA compliance. It appears that many of their bigger fines are due to simple theft such as laptop theft, computer theft, back up hard drive theft or storage device theft (such as a thumb drive).
You HAVE to make sure that your electronic equipment is secure. In my opinion, of the three task sets involved with PHI security (administrative, technical and physical), physical security measures are the most basic and the easiest to implement. You just lock your stuff down. PERIOD.
As well as offering physical security for Apple products, we provide PC Tower lockdown plates that will secure your PC tower with 20,000 pounds of anchoring strength to a flat secure surface, yet can easily allow removal by the authorized user. We have all different sizes of plates that will handle any component of a desktop that you want to secure, including your printers witch often have hard drive memories and must also be secured. With the PC Cable locks, you can secure your computer, monitor, mouse and keyboard all at once. There are also CPU lockers. There are laptop / notebook cable locks, laptop tie down brackets and laptop lockers.
We also in the process of procuring other nifty physical security devices such as password protected USB drives, drives that will delete data after a specified number of incorrect passwords, date encrypted USB drives, USB drives that will turn on only with your thumb print, as well as fingerprint recognition for computer and mouse activation.
There are other ways to help secure data such as making sure that your monitors have privacy screen filters on them if they are near windows or if others could enter your work space. Remember that your work space is wherever you are, as a portable laptop is considered a workspace as well.
In addition to the electronic equipment physical security, standards under physical security HIPAA Laws include facility access controls which may be a tax-deductible home security system for Legal Nurses Consultants working at home. Following the HIPAA guidelines will take come attention to detail and a bit of effort, but the consequences of a HIPAA violation is not worth the risks involved to you or to the people who trust you with their PHI.
HIPAA Violation Case examples and the penalties they incurred can be found at HIPAA ENFORCEMENT EXAMPLES!