In an effort to not lose focus on the seriousness of compliance requirements regarding HIPAA, we point our readers to a recent article written by Howard Anderson, Executive Editor, of and posted on the HealthcareInfoSecurity.com website.  In this posting we are told that for the first time, federal officials have fined a healthcare organization for violations of the HIPAA privacy rule. Cignet Health of Prince George’s County, Md., was fined $4.3 million for the violations that involved failing to provide 41 patients with access to their medical records and then failing to cooperate with federal investigators.

Cignet Health, a Christian-influenced medical service, operates four clinics in southern Maryland. The HITECH ACT created higher fines for HIPAA violations, which were issued in this case.

The reason we want to inform you about these imposed fines by federal officials is to respond to the many comments received by this website indicating a less than serious attention being paid to the reality that these fines do exist and are often heavy economic burdens for organizations and finally, that there seems to be a trend for continuation of such investigations and actions taken for proven violations to these important HIPAA related regulations.

If applicable, is your organization taking these HIPAA privacy rules seriously?  If not, that organization may be subject to a potential and costly investigative process which could ultimately lead to an final economic penalty that even the best business continuity plan or risk management strategy could not survive.

Click here to read the full article concerning this potential threat to “keeping the doors open”  — especially for any small or mid-sized entity or enterprise.

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