New HIPAA Czar Says Small Providers Will Not Get Off Easy

The OCR has a new enforcement czar, Roger Severino, and he’s out for blood.

The chief of the agency that enforces HIPAA told the audience of the 10th annual “Safeguarding Health Information” HIPAA conference that his top priority will be to find a “big, juicy, egregious” breach case to use as an example from which others can learn.

But, he added, just because he’s hunting for big bear, that doesn’t mean small healthcare providers will be able to hide.

Severino insisted that even smaller providers, who have fewer resources to invest in sophisticated security methods, will still be targets.

“Small providers are integral to our healthcare system. We know that. They provide more choice than just centralized institutions,” he said. “But smaller provider organization have the same responsibilities as large institutions,” he stressed.

“Just because you are small doesn’t mean we’re not looking and that you are safe if you are violating the law. You won’t be.”

What’s driving this crackdown?

First, there’s OCR’s massive caseload. OCR receives over 20,000 complaints per year. They can’t handle that kind of volume. And with the Trump administration’s commitment to small government, they cannot add staff. In fact, they’ve probably been told to reduce staff.

So, they have only one option: Massive enforcement with big, juicy fines to “educate” the rest of the industry, bring them into compliance, and lower the number of complaints their agency must deal with.

Second, there’s the growing international cybercrime epidemic. Severino mentioned the recent WannCry attack. He called it “a major disruption to our healthcare system and it certainly caused a major disruption overseas in England and some European countries.”

He said the attack drove home to him the importance of OCR’s commitment to “Make sure we are ready because the best solution is to make sure that no one is vulnerable to these attacks so that the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our health information is always preserved.”

So, what does all this mean for you?

  • Cybercrime is the biggest criminal epidemic on the planet, according to Forbes. CNBC reports that over half of all businesses in the US have already been attacked. If you haven’t been hit, you will be. And if you’re not ready, OCR will find out and you’ll get a massive fine.
  • You have limited resources to invest in sophisticated security methods and software to deal with this enormous threat.
  • The federal government is targeting you in the same way it’s targeting major corporations. They are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of complaints and by the global threat they must deal with. So, they are out to teach non-compliant providers, even small providers, a hard lesson.

What’s the solution to this very dangerous equation?

Severino gave very little guidance in his speech. “If you fall under attack, the FBI says you should not pay the ransom. That is their guidance. You don’t want to be in a position where you have to make that tough choice. Better always to be prepared to make sure you are not vulnerable.”

How do you make sure you’re “always prepared to make sure you’re not vulnerable”?

Only one way.

There is only one cybersecurity method that works proactively to stop all ransomware and protect you against huge fines. Only one that stops the malware before it has a chance to write to you hard drive and drop its payload.

And it’s only available from Petronella Technology Group, Inc.

Contact Petronella Today or Call 1-877-468-2721

Craig A. Petronella is the CEO of Petronella Technology Group, Inc. The only managed security services firm in the world to provide patented, proactive cybersecurity solutions that stops all persistent malware and ransomware from writing to disk in real-time. Petronella’s firm is based in Raleigh, NC offering IT services specializing in IT security, cloud computing, disaster recovery, and regulatory compliance. Craig has spent 30 years showing clients how to leverage their IT technology to increase profits, reduce operating expenses and protect against hacks and other cybercrimes. Author of multiple books, including “How Hackers Can Crush Your Law Firm”, and “Peace of Mind Computer Support” Petronella has partnerships with the patent holders of top tier, proactive cyber solutions and prevention tools. For more information cybercrime risk assessment call 1-877-468-2721.

Leave a Comment