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The Basics of Mobile Device Security for Protected Health Information

The single most common way Protected Health Information (PHI) is compromised is through the loss of devices themselves, whether this happens by accident or by theft. Technology — thumb drives, CDs, smart phones, tablets — has made it possible for large amounts of information to be tucked into our pockets or purses and carried to our cars, homes, favorite coffee shops, or hotel rooms at conferences. Files that used to take up an entire wall can now fit on a 2-inch thumb drive, a mini iPad, a laptop. But with this amazing technological convenience, comes increased responsibility. “Covered entities and […]

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Why Serious HIPAA Enforcement Is Inevitable

To borrow a phrase from Stephen Colbert, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) — the department in charge of HIPAA enforcement — got a “wag of the finger” a while back from the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General. And that’s bound to have an impact on healthcare offices everywhere. A November 2013 report from that office pointed out serious weaknesses that need to be addressed in OCR’s enforcement of HIPAA compliance. Titled — in all caps, no less — THE OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS DID NOT MEET ALL FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS IN ITS OVERSIGHT AND ENFORCEMENT OF […]

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