HIPAA Violations and Fines Explained

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Common Causes of HIPAA Violations

There are several common causes of HIPAA violations, and all of them can be avoided if your organization follows the best practices for IT Security. 

  • If a thief manages to sneak into your facility and steal equipment, storage units, or devices that have PHI on file, this would cause a HIPAA violation. Keep in mind that data theft often occurs from inside your organization.
  • Another common cause is when a hacker manages to get into your company databases that contain PHI. They may not specifically be after PHI, but the risk is there.
  • If you discuss PHI in public, whether it be in person or on online forums/social media, this could result in a HIPAA violation
  • When someone within your organization accidentally sends a PHI to the wrong person.
It's best to set measures in place to make sure that all transferred data goes where it’s meant to. 


What are the 4 Fine Levels of HIPAA Compliance Violations?


  • Level 1: Did Not Know This is where the covered entity was unaware of and couldn’t have realistically avoided the violation. At this level, a reasonable amount of care must have been taken to abide by the HIPAA regulations. Minimum fine of $100 per violation up to $50,000.

  • Level 2: Reasonable Cause — This is when the covered entity should have been aware of the violation, but could not have avoided it even if they acted with a reasonable amount of care. Minimum fine of $1,000 per violation up to $100,000

  • Level 3: Willful Neglect — This is when the violation occurred as a direct result of wilful neglect, but an attempt was made to correct the violation. Minimum fine of $10,000 per violation up to $250,000

  • Level 4: Willful Neglect + No Action — This is when the violation was a result of wilful neglect and there was no action taken place to correct the violation. Minimum fine of $50,000 per violation and up to $1,500,000

Keeping Your Company’s Private Data Secure 

Your PHI is data that your organization is responsible for, and the protection and security of your data are critical to thriving in the modern digital age. 

If you’re uncertain of your business’s security or compliance, gain clarity with Commprise. With our IT Security and Compliance Auditing services, you’ll be able to get a complete picture of the security of your IT systems, network, and data. An in-depth understanding of your IT environment will allow you to clearly document and improve any potential security weaknesses that might get in between you and maintaining compliance.