The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has fundamentally changed the health care industry’s privacy and security practices. However, the federal government’s enforcement efforts historically have been complaint-driven and sporadic. As a result, HIPAA-covered entities and business associates typically have failed to make compliance a priority. In fact, in 2008, the federal Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General published a report criticizing the government’s HIPAA oversight, concluding that, "reliance on complaints alone was ineffective" for identifying noncompliance.
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