The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Created "A Tiered Civil Penalty Structure" for Hipaa Violations

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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created "a tiered civil penalty structure" for HIPAA violations, according to the American Medical Association. The civil penalties involve fines payable to the state. The fines vary depending on the extent of the violation. At the lowest tier, HIPAA calls for $100 fine per violation with an annual maximum of $25,000 for repeat violations. The lowest tier involves situations where health care workers disclose information that, had the health care worker exercised reasonable care, violates the patient's privacy. Civil fines can be as high as $50,000 per violation, with an annual maximum of $1.5 million for subsequent violations. The highest HIPAA civil penalty involves situations where the health care workers willfully neglect HIPAA laws and do not correct the conduct. The penalties are subject to change over time.
HIPAA privacy regulations and the ramifications of improper information disclosure
Privacy regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act declare to protect the privacy of American patients' health information in several ways (HIPAA Privacy Regulations, 2000). As summarized by HHS, the regulations are intended to give patients control over their health information; create "limits" around how medical records can be used and released; make certain the security of personal health information; and ascertain accountability for the use and release of medical records (HIPAA Privacy Regulations, 2000). The regulations also "balance public responsibility with privacy protections," meaning that they allow many uses of patient information without consent (HIPAA Privacy Regulations, 2000). Not only does HIPAA have privacy regulations, it also has security rules that came into effect on April 21, 2005. The privacy regulations and security rules are the only national set of regulations that administers the use and disclosure of private,

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