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Concentra Health Services to pay OCR $1,725,220 To Settle Potential HIPAA Violations Due To Stolen Laptops

26 May 2014

Concentra Health Services to pay OCR $1,725,220 To Settle Potential HIPAA Violations Due To Stolen Laptops

Concentra Health Services to pay The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) $1,725,220 to resolve potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules. These major enforcement actions underscore the significant risk to the security of patient information posed by unencrypted laptop computers and other mobile devices.

Susan McAndrew, OCR’s deputy director of health information privacy said “Covered entities and business associates must understand that mobile device security is their obligation. Our message to these organizations is simple: encryption is your best defense against these incidents.”

OCR opened a compliance review of Concentra Health Services (Concentra) upon receiving a breach report that an unencrypted laptop was stolen from one of its facilities, the Springfield Missouri Physical Therapy Center. OCR’s investigation revealed that Concentra had previously recognized in multiple risk analyses that a lack of encryption on its laptops, desktop computers, medical equipment, tablets and other devices containing electronic protected health information (ePHI) was a critical risk. While steps were taken to begin encryption, Concentra’s efforts were incomplete and inconsistent over time leaving patient PHI vulnerable throughout the organization. OCR’s investigation further found Concentra had insufficient security management processes in place to safeguard patient information. Concentra has agreed to pay OCR $1,725,220 to settle potential violations and will adopt a corrective action plan to evidence their remediation of these findings.

www.training-hipaa.net has 5 different training levels starting from 1 hour course to 24 hour course for the HIPAA Privacy Security officer. We also offer templates for HIPAA policies and procedures for Privacy and security rule to ensure you have all necessary documentation in place.

The Resolution Agreements can be found on the OCR website at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/enforcement/examples/stolenlaptops-agreements.html