What is Considered a HIPAA Violation?

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What is a HIPAA violation? Any access, use, or disclosure of protected health information that is not allowed by the HIPAA Privacy Rule. 

Not all HIPAA violation examples rise to the level of a “breach.” There are a few exceptions, such as:

  • Losing an encrypted laptop
  • Sending a fax to the wrong Dr. Smith in the same hospital
  • Viewing an open chart for only a moment as you pass by someone’s desk

But the burden of proof is on you to show that it’s not a breach, and that is done through accurate HIPAA violation reporting. However, if the situation escalates, you may be subject to HIPAA violation penalties, fines and reputational damage.

If you are wondering how to report a HIPAA violation, the best way is to file an official report with the OCR using their portal.