What are examples of HIPPA violations by employers?
From unauthorized access to an employee's medical records to distributing unauthorized health information, here are answers to the question, What's an example of a HIPPA violation by an employer?
- Protecting Employee Health Information
- Nurse Films a Patient Without their Consent
- Unauthorized Access to An Employee's Medical Records
- Distributing Unauthorized Health Information
- Leakage of Sensitive Patient Data
- Forgetting to Sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA)
- Using Unsecured Email
Protecting Employee Health Information
An example of a HIPAA violation by an employer could be failure to protect the privacy of employee health information. HIPAA requires that employers take reasonable steps to ensure that any protected health information (PHI) is secure and confidential.
This may include encrypting PHI that is stored or transmitted electronically, having physical safeguards in place to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information, and implementing policies and procedures to protect the confidentiality of PHI.
Nurse Films a Patient Without their Consent
An example of a HIPAA violation by an employer is when a nurse films a patient without their consent, such as the posting of a video online that shows a patient in an embarrassing situation.
This type of violation violates a person's right to privacy and hinders the trust that a patient must have in a medical professional.
Additionally, when employers fail to take reasonable steps to protect a person's health information from unauthorized access or disclosure, this can be considered a HIPAA violation, as well. It is essential for employers and employees alike to follow all HIPAA regulations to protect both patients and themselves.
Unauthorized Access to An Employee's Medical Records
Employers' access to an employee's medical records without their knowledge or consent is a significant HIPAA violation. This is because HIPAA sets strict rules for the use, storage, and disclosure of protected health information (PHI), which includes an employee's medical records.
The law forbids viewing an employee's medical records during the hiring process or using the information in decisions related to promotions, pay raises, or other employment-related matters. Employers' unauthorized access to such information violates the employee's right to privacy and confidentiality.
Employers may only access an employee's medical records if they have received written authorization from the employee. This authorization must be specific, and it must be limited to the particular information that the employer needs to perform its job-related functions.
Distributing Unauthorized Health Information
An example of an employer violating HIPAA is distributing unauthorized health information. This could include sharing an employee's medical records without permission, providing non-work related personnel access to confidential medical records, or disclosing any sensitive information about a patient without the patient's consent.
Employers should ensure that all employees are adequately trained in HIPAA regulations and practices to avoid potential violations.
Additionally, employers should implement policies that clearly state the acceptable use of protected health information and what is considered a HIPAA violation. Failing to do so could result in serious legal consequences for the employer.
Leakage of Sensitive Patient Data
The Health and Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a law enacted in 1996 to prevent patients' health information. HIPAA compliance issues are not only in the field of health sectors but also in any kind of workplace.
As per federal law, it is the utmost duty of the employer to protect the rights of an individual employee, and it creates so much confusion for the employer. It usually falls in the category where the benefits of health are provided to the employees.
This kind of sensitive information should be stored and secured with much privacy; any act of leakage of any medical state of an employee will result in criminal offenses and civil penalties for the employers.
Forgetting to Sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA)
The worst mistake an employer can make with regards to HIPAA violations is forgetting to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with a business associate that has access to protected health information (PHI).
Essentially, any time that your business allows a third party to have access to PHI, you must sign a BAA with that business associate. If you forget to sign a BAA with an entity that you give access to PHI, you are opening your business up to substantial risk.
A BAA is a requirement under HIPAA, and it establishes that the third party you are working with understands and will comply with HIPAA. With a signed BAA, third parties share legal and fiscal responsibility for HIPAA violations that they permit.
Without one, mistakes that the third party makes and data breaches that are incurred on their behalf are likely to result in your company being responsible for their mistakes. Always make sure that you sign a BAA with any entity you are giving access to PHI.
Using Unsecured Email
Standard business practices are leaving medical providers vulnerable to federal government fines. HIPAA protects individuals' private health information and limits third parties' ability to access any health information without written permission.
Throughout America, rural and independent health care providers distribute patients' healthcare data - including diagnosis, treatments, and current medications - through unsecured email services and common domain names.
Even though this information was sent to a proper party, a HIPAA violation can occur when an unauthorized party gains access to a medical provider's email. Several public email domains have experienced mass cyber security incidents that allowed hackers access to full emails and passwords.
Without encrypting these emails, rogue parties can gain access to individuals' private health information just by looking through a compromised email's "sent" folder. Providers using unsecured email should instead revert to faxes.
Submit Your Answer
Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, "What's an example of a HIPPA violation by an employer?"Submit your answer here.