HIPAA Stats and Facts

By Art Gross, President and CEO, HIPAA Secure Now!
Twitter: @HIPAASecureNow
Read other articles by this author

We couldn’t call them fun facts, because there’s really not a lot that one could label “fun” when it comes to HIPAA, but we thought we’d take a look at some of the statistics and facts in a summary fashion.

  • HIPAA, often misspelled HIPPA, stands for the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act. This federal law was established in 1996 to create standards in, and to protect, patient health information from being shared without their knowledge.
  • The average total cost for a data breach according to a 2020 report is $3.86 million. Yes, MILLION.
  • A minor breach is when it affects fewer than 500 individuals. 500 or more is classified as a meaningful breach.
  • There is a wall of shame for any meaningful breach on the Office for Civil Rights webpage. Not surprisingly, it isn’t actually labeled as the Wall of Shame, but you certainly don’t want to end up there.
  • The United State as a country, and healthcare as an industry, hold the number one positions for the highest total cost of a data breach. Yes, that means that a US-based healthcare business has the odds stacked against them when it comes to risk.
  • HIPAA ensures that your identifiable health information is protected for 50 years after your death. Interesting, huh?
  • What’s considered an identifier of Protected Health Information (PHI)? There are 18 identifiers and that includes some unexpected data like your IP address and vehicle identification number (VIN). Still sending faxes? That phone number is also an identifier.
  • What’s it called when you have to read the government outline of all HIPAA legislation? HIPAA-nosis …that’s an unofficial term by the way 😉

Hopefully, these facts give you a little more insight into HIPAA, breach costs, and things to avoid (like that wall of shame – no thank you).

This article was originally published on HIPAA Secure Now! and is republished here with permission. HIPAA Secure Now offers annual online subscriptions to help covered entities and business associates keep up with compliance. Learn more here.

HIPAA Secure Now! now offers PHIshMD training for CEs and BAs to help protect your organization from security threats.

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