Access "Perspectives: Is HIPAA DOA?"
This article is part of the April 2005 issue of Spotlight on the incident response hot seat
Is HIPAA DOA? The long-awaited privacy law's impact is disappointing compared to other security regulations. We've been waiting nearly a decade for the Health Insurance Portability and Account-ability Act (HIPAA) to go into full effect. Now that it has, is it dead on arrival? When compared to Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA is a paper tiger lacking the incentives and penalties to fulfill the protection of patients' health records. Of course, it's easy to argue that SOX has more impact because it applies to a broader community of enterprises--publicly traded companies with greater than $75 million in annual revenue. But the issue is more than just scope; it's about consequences. SOX has teeth; HIPAA has fewer penalties and agencies willing to enforce it. As a result, many health care organizations are balking at the massive investments needed to comply with the act, and government agencies are signaling an unwillingness to hunt down noncompliant organizations. Without enforcement, HIPAA lacks real value. The success of SOX compared to HIPAA comes down to the following ... Access >>>
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