Presence Health Agrees to $475,000 Penalty for Breach

Presence Health Agrees to $475,000 Penalty for Breach

Illinois-based Presence Health sustained a data breach on October 22, 2013 when it could not locate its paper-based operating room schedules containing the protected health information (PHI) of 836 people.  During the course of its investigation, OCR discovered that the hospital system failed to provide notification of the breach within the timeframes outlined in the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule.

In this care, Presence Health should have provided notification of the breach to affected individuals, prominent media outlets and OCR without unreasonable delay and no later than 60 calendar days after its discovery of the breach.  However, Presence Health provided notifications to individuals and the media 104 calendar days following discovery of the breach and notified OCR 101 calendars days after it was discovered.

Presence Health’s failure to notify the affected individuals each constituted a separate violation of the Breach Notification Rule.  Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Presence Health agreed to pay $475,000.

The settlement signals OCR’s intention to enforce notification deadlines, and covered entities and business associates must be mindful of reporting timelines or risk potential violations.

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