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Health Plan Company Settles with Health & Human Services (HHS) for $1.2 Million in Copier Hard Drive HIPPA Violation Case

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Under a settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Affinity Health Plan, Inc. based in Bronx, New York will settle potential violations of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules for $1,215,780.

The Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) investigation indicated that Affinity impermissibly disclosed the protected health information of up to 344,579 individuals when it returned multiple photocopiers to a leasing agent without erasing the data contained on the copier hard drives.

In addition, the investigation revealed that Affinity failed to incorporate the electronic protected health information stored in copier’s hard drives in its analysis of risks and vulnerabilities as required by the Security Rule, and failed to implement policies and procedures when returning the hard drives to its leasing agents.

Bottom line, if you are a physician or health care provider make sure that your copier company is protecting you by following proper information security procedures namely wiping the hard drive or removing the hard drive before selling or leasing the copier to someone else.

Click the link below to see the CBS News report that opened up this case.

If you have questions about this post or any general copier buying questions fill out the form below or contact me, Ed Worthington, directly at 443-570-0414. Thanks for stopping by. Have a fun day.

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