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NEWS | Technology ITUpdate » The Department of Health and Games offer residents more Human Services has finalized rules that increase penalties for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). than just a Wii bit of exercise By John O’Connor Covered entities could be liable for For many activity directors, a broad range of penalties—$100 to keeping residents healthy $50,000—for a HIPAA violation in and engaged is an ongoing four categories. The lowest $100-per- challenge. But thanks to the violation penalty could be assessed in Nintendo Wii, an increasing Photo: National Senior League cases where entities were not aware number of residents are still of or would not have known about a bowling, boxing and playing violation even through “the exercise of tennis, even if it is in a “vir- reasonable diligence,” according to the tual” setting. rule. In cases where violations are due Nintendo Wii games are to willful neglect but are corrected, the popular across the entire age Wii games are popular across the age spectrum, but they have proven a minimum penalty for each violation spectrum, but they have prov- particularly good fit for seniors, especially those with limited mobility. is $10,000. However, a provider could en an especially good fit for also bar the imposition of a civil money seniors, who can combine com- pete against other communities. ing communities and senior penalty by demonstrating that it was petition with camaraderie. It’s not uncommon to see resi- centers currently are in a quest unaware of a HIPAA violation. At first glance, the pairing of dents wearing matched bowl- to make the national playoffs. old people and a cutting edge ing shirts while they play. The tournament will crown a » Provider groups are endorsing game might seem odd. But The game is easy to use, is national champion following the so-called “no harm provision” operators say residents have mentally stimulating, encour- its title matchup the week of in the breach notification interim continued to fall in love with ages social interaction and deliv- Dec. 14. final rule that would exempt entities the games and the supporting ers a low-impact workout. “We’re thrilled to have so from requirements under the Health technology, which uses hand Recently, a National Senior many teams bowling their way Information Technology for Economic devices to mimic traditional, League Tournament was toward a true national crown,” and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act to low-tech games. established to give residents said Dennis Berkholtz, found- report cases of breached health data. In fact, many communities a competitive outlet. Teams er of Atlanta-based National Provider comments suggest that have formed teams that com- representing 105 senior liv- Senior League. n without such an exception, individuals needlessly would be alerted about always practical or easy. breaches that did not cause problems. That’s why Lori Sto- rey, general manager of » Robb Miller, a director with CMS’s Columbus, OH-based Medical Integrity Group, sa
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