HIPAA Audit Tips – OCR HIPAA Audits Are Here – Learn From Accretive Health, Inc. Settlement

In an SEC Form 8-K filing dated July 25, 2012, Accretive Health, Inc. announced it’s “Settlement of Minnesota Litigation”.  On January 19, the Minnesota Attorney General filed a civil lawsuit against the business associate, Accretive Health, Inc., after one of their employees lost a laptop containing personal and health details for up to 23,000 patients from the company’s medical clients.   Here’s today’s big tip – Learn From Accretive Health, Inc. Settlement
 

HIPAA Audit Protocols| HIPAA Audit Tips | Risk Analysis

OCR HIPAA Audits Are Here

 There’s Lots to Learn from Settlement Agreements

The full Settlement Agreement may be found in the SEC Form 8-K Filing dated July 25, 2012.  In the filing, Accretive stated that the “Company wishes to eliminate distractions caused by the lawsuit and has chosen to voluntarily cease its remaining operations in Minnesota” and that the “Company believes that its compliance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement will not have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition” although it went on to say “the combined Projected Contracted Annual Revenue Run-Rate (PCARR) for Minnesota operations was between $23 million and $25 million”.  That seems to be real money to me!

Following are some key points of the agreement:

  • Accretive Health shall, in a manner which does not interfere with the business affairs of any Minnesota Client, wind down and cease all of its business operations in the State of Minnesota
  • For a period of two years following the Wind Down Date, Accretive Health agrees not to conduct any business operations in the State of Minnesota…
  • Accretive Health shall destroy or return to any Minnesota Client all PHI and Personal Financial Information in its possession
  • Accretive Health, Inc. agrees to pay for a nationally recognized independent consultant agreed upon by the Attorney General (whose agreement shall not be unreasonably withheld) to confirm, to reasonable industry standards, that the PHI and Personal Financial Information was removed
  • Accretive Health, Inc. agrees to pay to the Attorney General the sum of Two million four hundred-ninety thousand four-hundred dollars ($2,490,400) (the “Settlement Sum”)

Business Associates Need to Care About HIPAA-HITECH, too!

When we first reported “Accretive Health Sued for Loss of Electronic Patient Data”, we highlighted two aspects of the suit: 1) another State Attorney General getting into the act; and, 2) a Business Associate being directly taken to task.  Both Covered Entities and Business Associates can learn from this Settlement Agreement and many others that can be found in our HIPAA-HITECH guidance area.

Contact us for more information or to learn about a tailored Clearwater HIPAA Audit Prep WorkShop™ or the Clearwater  HIPAA Audit Prep BootCamp™ series.

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