By Kim Stanger
The HIPAA breach notification rule requires covered entities to report breaches of unsecured protected health information (“PHI”) to affected individuals, HHS and, in some cases, local media. (45 CFR § 164.400 et seq.). The notice must be sent to individuals as soon as reasonably possible but no later than 60 days after it was discovered. (45 CFR § 164.404). The timing of notice to HHS depends on the number of persons affected by the breach: if the breach involves 500 or more persons, the covered entity must notify HHS at the same time it notifies the individual; if the breach involves less than 500 persons, the covered entity must report the breach to HHS until no later than 60 days after the end of the calendar year, i.e., by March 1. (45 CFR § 164.408(b)-(c)).
Is Your HIPAA Breach Reportable? Under the breach notification rule, covered entities are only required to self-report if there is a “breach” of “unsecured” PHI. (45 CFR § 164.400 et seq.). Continue reading