Via the Threatpost article “HIPAA Bares Its Teeth: $4.3m Fine For Privacy Violation“:
The health care industry’s toothless tiger finally bared its teeth, as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a $4.3 m fine to a Maryland health care provider for violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The action is the first monetary fine issued since the Act was passed in 1996.
A copy of a penalty notice against Cignet depicts a two-year effort in which HHS struggled with what appears to be a dysfunctional Maryland provider unaware of the potential impact of HIPAA non-compliance, and unwilling or unable to cooperate with HHS in any way.
When first reading the title I was willing to rail against HIPAA, as I’m tired of it. Then I read the post. Wow. It’s like a test case designed to see just how far you could push HHS, and frankly how incompetent you can be while pushing. Seems HHS was having trouble getting Cignet’s attention. I bet they have it now.
*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*
Should you friend your doctor on Facebook? It’s a question that’s gaining increasing relevance as Facebook increases its social networking dominance. I’ve touched upon the issue in the past. So has the New England Journal of Medicine.
Washington, DC, physician Katherine Chretian gives her take on the issue in a recent USA Today op-ed. She is an expert of the Facebook-medicine intersection, having authored a JAMA study on the issue.
She says, no, doctors should not be friending their patients:
Having a so-called dual relationship with a patient — that is, a financial, social or professional relationship in addition to the therapeutic relationship — can lead to serious ethical issues and potentially impair professional judgment. We need professional boundaries to do our job well.
Furthermore, there’s the little matter of patient privacy and HIPAA. I wasn’t aware of this, but simply becoming Facebook friends with patients can infringe upon uncertain ground. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*