Data Privacy

What are the Risks of HIPAA Non-compliance?

The challenges and risks faced by those healthcare organizations that fail to keep up with HIPAA compliance regulations are numerous, going from substantial fines –that will be issued even if the violation was inadvertent or unintentional– to civil action lawsuits, or even criminal charges.

Non-compliance fines

Fines for non-compliance are not cheap – your business can be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for non-compliance.

Exposing your patients’s data to fraud

Inadequate security systems attract online hackers, making your business susceptible to data breaches. Personal information such as credit card details, security codes, names, birth dates, and other sensitive data becomes a prime target for malicious actors, leading to potential identity theft and fraudulent activities.

Costly investigation fees

If evidence of non-compliance is found, the responsibility for covering these investigation fees will fall on your business. This translates to substantial costs amounting to thousands of dollars.

Criminal Charges

An individual who intentionally acquires or reveals personally identifiable health information (PHI) –which is precisely what HIPAA’s Privacy Rule aims at protecting–, can be subjected to criminal consequences, including fines of up to $50,000 and a maximum imprisonment of one year.

However, if the misconduct includes false pretenses, the criminal penalties can escalate to $100,000 and a potential imprisonment term of up to five years. Moreover, if the conduct is characterized by the intent to sell, transfer, or exploit PHI for commercial advantage, personal gain, or malicious harm, the penalties increase to $250,000, and the individual may face imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Reputation lost

Non-compliance can erode customer trust in your business, leading to a loss of confidence among your customer base. Instances of data breaches may result in customers refusing to engage in transactions with your business, causing lasting damage to your reputation.

Avoid HIPAA’s non-compliance Risks with Trackingplan

As data grows more complex, and considering that organizations nowadays rely on several external services to do analytics, product development, marketing automation, or sales (Google Analytics, Amplitude, Hubspot, Adjust, Intercom, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Braze, etc.), checking that you are not sending any PHI-sensitive data to all these third-party integrations can be overwhelming.

To help you with that, Trackingplan automatically connects and documents everything that flows between your sites and apps to third-party integrations (e.g.: Google Analytics, Segment, Mixpanel, etc.). This provides a roadmap with powerful cross-service insights to effectively ensure only HIPAA-compliant data is accurately collected, responsibly managed, and integrated efficiently across teams and platforms.

But that’s not all. Apart from automatically discovering your data integrations to easily see what data you are actually collecting and the schemas beneath this process, Trackingplan’s Privacy Report goes beyond by allowing you to control the flow of data in a compliant way.

Trackingplan’s Privacy Report allows you to see at a glance which private data your site is collecting from your users and forwarding to third parties.

That way, personal data – like user emails, IP addresses, SSNs, credit cards, and so on – will be automatically spotted and labeled here in order to detect any possible privacy issue or security-sensitive data that should not have been collected or forwarded to your analytics services.

To learn more, check this article on the constraints organizations within the healthcare sector face to leverage their digital analytics while staying HIPAA-compliant, and how this new landscape has impacted digital analytics in this field.

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