The penalties for failing to comply with HIPAA privacy law in digital health can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation, with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per year for violations of the same provision. These fines vary based on the level of negligence, with higher fines reserved for willful neglect of HIPAA rules that are not corrected in a timely manner.

How does the level of negligence affect HIPAA penalties?

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) categorizes HIPAA violations into tiers based on the perceived level of negligence. Fines start at a lower range for those who were unaware and had no reasonable way of knowing they violated HIPAA. Penalties escalate when reasonable cause or willful neglect is present, but corrective actions are not taken. The highest fines are for willful neglect without an attempt to correct the violation.

What specific actions can lead to HIPAA penalties?

Actions that can lead to HIPAA penalties include failing to protect electronic personal health information (ePHI), improper disposal of patient records, unauthorized disclosure of ePHI, and lack of patient access to their own health records. Additionally, failing to conduct risk assessments and not having a breach notification procedure in place can result in significant fines. For a deeper understanding of how digital health and HIPAA intersect and what tech entrepreneurs must know, refer to Digital Health and HIPAA Privacy Law: What Tech Entrepreneurs Must Know.


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Leo Celis