As part of their commitment to providing greater transparency to consumers, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently launched their revised web tool designed to highlight important breach information. The HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool (HBRT) now includes enhanced navigation and gives the general public a deeper look into recent healthcare data breaches including those being currently investigated.
Released in 2009, the HBRT (HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool) was created as part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. As required by HIPAA, entities must report breaches of unsecured protected health information of 500 or more individuals to OCR. In the event of a breach, HIPAA also requires covered entities to promptly notify the affected individual and, in some cases, notify the media.
The HBRT tool includes the following information on each breach:
- The name of the entity
- State where the entity is located
- Number of individuals affected by the breach
- The date of the breach
- Type of breach (e.g., hacking/IT incident, theft, loss, unauthorized access/disclosure)
- Location of the breached information (e.g., laptop, paper records, desktop computer)
The straightforward, easy-to-use tool has two purposes: provides detailed information to customers and acts as a repository for organizations looking to report incidents. By compiling this information, the tool also helps educate the industry on the types of breaches occurring with the ultimate goal of highlighting the importance of securing health information.
For additional information on HIPAA breach notification, visit: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/breach-notification
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