Sharing medical images in a HIPAA-noncompliant fashion is a violation of patient privacy that can expose you to large fines and potentially criminal liability. But what exactly constitutes a HIPAA violation? In theory, the actions that constitute HIPAA violations are straightforward: sharing what's considered to be private health information (PHI) with someone who's not supposed to receive it.
But from this simple definition, HIPAA violations related to medical images in particular, can take many forms, including exposing a patient's medical images to a vendor who does not have a Business Associates Agreement (BAA), sharing images with a family member or spouse without the patient's written consent, losing a laptop computer or cell phone containing protected medical information, or even mailing a medical image to the wrong address.
This blog will present guidelines for remaining HIPAA compliant, sharing images, protecting patient privacy, and reducing your risk of violating HIPAA rules and regulations.