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Common HIPAA Breaches and Defending Your Wisconsin Medical License

Posted on in Medical License Defense

Milwaukee medical license defense lawyers, medical license defense, HIPAA breaches, HIPPA violations, HIPAA regulationsThe Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was created to protect people’s privacy and ensure that their medical records are kept safe and secure. When doctors, nurses, hospitals, or other medical providers violate HIPAA rules, they can face serious penalties, including civil fines ranging from $100 for an unknowing violation to an annual maximum of $1.5 million for willful neglect that has not been corrected as well as potential criminal prosecution.

In addition to civil and criminal penalties, medical professionals who commit a HIPAA violation may face the loss of their Wisconsin medical license. In order to avoid these severe consequences, it is important to understand the potential ways a violation can occur and take steps to correct any existing issues.

Common HIPAA Violations

HIPAA rules can be complex and change regularly. Therefore, violations can inadvertently occur when a doctor, nurse, or staff member discloses a patient’s information incorrectly. Some common types of violations include:

  • Unsecured records - Physical patient records should be kept in a secure, locked desk or filing cabinet. Digital records should be encrypted and password protected. Failure to meet these requirements may cause a violation when someone accesses these files without authorization.

  • Data breaches - Hacking is a serious concern not only for people’s financial information, but for medical information as well. Unauthorized or illegal access to computer systems can lead to the theft of patient records. Medical offices should use antivirus software, firewalls, encryption, and strong passwords to protect patient information.

  • Lost or stolen electronic devices - Patient information is often kept on a variety of devices, including computers, tablets, and smartphones. The loss or theft of these devices can lead to unauthorized disclosure of medical records, especially if the devices are not password protected.

  • Improper record disposal - Proper procedures must be followed when destroying records to prevent the possibility of disclosure of patient information. Physical documents should be fully shredded, and digital files should be properly erased from hard drives or other storage devices.

  • Unauthorized information disclosure - Medical staff must follow specific rules and procedures when releasing patient information to family members, other medical providers, billing services, or insurance companies. Failure to do so can be a serious HIPAA violation.

Contact a Milwaukee Professional License Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of violating HIPAA regulations, the potential consequences to your practice and your medical licenses can be very serious. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP, we can help you defend against these claims and protect your ability to continue earning an income in your chosen profession. Contact our Milwaukee, WI medical license defense lawyers today at 414-271-1440.





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