Violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), can cost individuals thousands of dollars, prison time and termination the employment. Organizations also receive a heavy fine and lose productivity as a result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Human and Heath Services (HHS), in addition to a loss of credibility in the community.
Millions of dollars in penalties have been paid by top organizations, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cignet Health and CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS). One violation can cost between $100 and $50,000 or up to $1.5 annually for multiple violations. The HHS is serious about penalizing companies for inappropriate employee conduct or a neglectful approach to protecting electronic data.
HIPAA standards emphasize accountability, bringing punishment upon organizations and individuals. In Miami, an employee stole patient data and was sentenced to two years in prison. In another case, a doctor and two hospital employees were given one year probation for leaking confidential information to the media.
How can individuals and organizations protect themselves? Training employees regarding the proper use of patient data and implementing security measures to protect both electronic and printed information. A proactive approach could save thousands of dollars and possibly a prison sentence.
Also incorporating in the right state can help prevent lawsuits. Wyoming is considered the best, followed by Nevada, Delaware, Montana, Florida and New Mexico. Some statics on why those states are the best for limited liability purposes, is presented below: