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surprise-hipaa-audits-on-the-way

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has hired PriceWaterhouseCoopers to conduct surprise audits of hospitals for HIPAA compliance:

Its complaint-driven, says Runyon, noting that Tony Trenkle, director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at HHS, last month publicly said the first 10 or so reviews will be at hospitals where CMS received complaints about security.

In visiting the healthcare organization, the government regulatory probe will focus on security risks associated with remote access to data and portable storage concerns, with security managers expected to answer a lot of questions.

CMS plans to publish the results of these audits on its Web site but not the organizations name, unless it uncovers major lapses, which could result in fines or other penalties as defined under the HIPAA guidelines. Last month, Atlantas Piedmont Hospital was revealed by HHS to be the first unannounced HIPAA security audit.

Will HIPAA finally get some teeth?

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