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How to Avoid HIPAA Disasters And Security Pitfalls

The penalties for HIPAA violations are devastating. The fines alone are high enough to bankrupt most pediatric therapy clinics. According to Morgan Brown at TrueVault:

The penalties for noncompliance are based on the level of negligence and can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation (or per record), with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per year for violations of an identical provision. Violations can also carry criminal charges that can result in jail time.

Source: What is the penalty for a HIPAA violation?

It’s easy to forget the consequences, and get complacent, but you have to stay vigilant or you will put your clinic at risk. Here’s some more information to put it in perspective:

Violation category

Fine per violation

Maximum Fine

(A) Did Not Know $100-$50,000 $1,500,000
(B) Reasonable Cause 1,000-50,000 1,500,000
(C)(i) Willful Neglect-Corrected 10,000-50,000 1,500,000
(C)(ii) Willful Neglect-Not Corrected 50,000 1,500,000

Source: Federal Register

Those fines are pretty terrifying, right? 

The information that pediatric therapists work with everyday is sensitive, so you need to ensure proper handling. Otherwise you’re leaving your clinic open to disaster.

To help with that, we’ve compiled a list of tips.


But remember: even if you follow all the points here, your security isn’t guaranteed. New ways to compromise data are developed every day. So no amount of tips can guarantee that a breach won’t happen to your clinic. To be truly protected, consider talking to a professional security firm.

However, there are some easy steps you can take to begin improving your security. That’s what this list is for. It isn’t meant to be comprehensive. It’s just a starting point. Some of the points may even seem like common sense, but they’re important enough to be worth a reminder.

The list is broken into three categories. The first section focuses on habits that can be formed to minimize exposure. The second section covers digital security tips that do not require a technical background to implement. Finally, important information to know closes out this list.

(Also, at the end of the post, we’ve included a SWOT template you can download to conduct a risk analysis of your clinic.)


Digital Security

Stay Informed