Business Health for Healthcare Businesses
How Insurance Keeps You Strong

Chapter 2: How Insurance Can Save Your Medical or Healthcare Practice Millions
Part 2: Cyber Liability Insurance for Allied Health Professionals
Data Breach Examples: It Could Happen to You

The cost of HIPAA and HITECH violations is enough to devastate a small business. Take a look at a few of the staggering fines HHS has doled out in the past few years:

  • In 2009, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee was fined $1.5 million by the Department of Health and Human Services for security violations related to a data breach.
  • After patients complained about unauthorized individuals viewing their records, the University of California at Los Angeles Health System received a fine of $865,500 in 2011.
  • In 2011, Cignet Health in Maryland received a whopping civil penalty of $4.3 million for violating a HIPAA rule. The company denied 41 patients their medical records, which accounted for $1.3 million of the fine. The other $3 million came from Cignet Health's failure to cooperate with the HHS investigation.
  • In 2013, WellPoint, Inc. (an Indiana-based company) agreed to pay a $1.7 million fine to the HHS over a breach of its unsecured ePHI.

Though it may seem as though large hospitals make a better target for cyber thefts and security breaches, it's small businesses that are most often the victims. According to a study by Verizon Communications Inc., about 72 percent of the 855 data breaches worldwide New browser window icon. in 2011 were at companies with 100 or fewer employees.

72% of data breaches in 2011 happened at small businesses.

The Office of Civil Rights New browser window icon. notes that 69 percent of all HIPAA violations of 500 or more items are a result of human error, such as losing a thumb drive with notes about your patients' therapy sessions. Even if you take every precaution to guard your patients' electronic health records, there's always a chance you could make a costly mistake.

That's why it's better to err on the side of caution and have a plan in place (i.e., get covered with cyber liability insurance) to help get you out of a serious financial jam and ensure you do everything in your power to protect your patients' health information. After all, according to HIPAA regulations New browser window icon., protecting patient data is your responsibility.

69% of major HIPAA violations result from human error.

Next: Chapter 3: How to Fill the Gaps Left by Standard Insurance Policies

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