IT | Security

First Civil Money Penalty for HIPAA Privacy Rule Violations

By: Absolute Team | 2/24/2011

While 2010 saw the first HIPAA lawsuit and settlement the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has now imposed a $4.3 million civil money penalty for violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

The penalty was levied against Cignet Health of Maryland and is the first civil money penalty issued by the Department for a covered entity’s violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Cignet apparently refused to turn over protected health information to individuals when they requested it. 41 individuals complained about this issue. Investigations were apparently obstructed and was not forthcoming in addressing complaints.

The amount has been set high, likely under the allowance for "willful neglect."