PHI On Photocopier Hard Drives… Is Your Organization At Risk?

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Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced yet another HIPAA settlement for more than $1 million. Affinity Health Plan must pay $1,215,780 for returning multiple photocopiers to its leasing agents without erasing the data on the hard drives. The hard drives contained protected health information (PHI). Affinity reported the data breach to HHS in April 2010 and estimated that up to 344,579 individuals were affected by the breach.

The government’s investigation revealed that Affinity failed to incorporate the electronic PHI stored on photocopier hard drives in its risk analysis, as required by the Security Rule, and failed to implement policies and procedures when returning photocopiers to leasing agents.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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