by Hoala Greevy Founder CEO of Paubox
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HIPAA Violations Outpace Oil, Congress and Dow Jones

by Hoala Greevy Founder CEO of Paubox

2004 marked the first full year the Office for Civil Rights released data for HIPAA Violations. Its data set included three categories- No Violation, Resolved After Intake and Review (No Fines), and Corrective Action Obtained (Fines). The focus of this post will be on the exponential growth of the Corrective Action Obtained category. From 2004-2013, the compounded annual growth rate of confirmed HIPAA Privacy Act violations was an astounding 12.88%.

When compared against almost any growth statistic during that timespan, there hasn’t been much that’s outpaced the explosive growth of HIPAA violations. In fact, we’ll compare it against three recent macro trends in America- domestic oil production, the disapproval rating of Congress and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Confirmed HIPAA Violations Tripled over 10 Years

At the end of the first full year of data collection from the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services (2004), there were 1033 instances of confirmed HIPAA violations. Fast forwarding to the end of 2013, that number more than tripled to 3470. When computed over a 10 year span for compounded annual growth, we see a staggering rate of nearly 13% (12.88%).

Confirmed HIPAA Violations Since 2004
Source: HHS

US Oil Production Forecast to Be World’s Largest

The U.S. is experiencing a sharp resurgence in domestic oil production, primarily due to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In fact, the United States is now forecast to overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of oil by 2015.

Yet if we look at the data, we see that U.S. oil production from 2004-2013 saw a modest compounded annual growth rate of 3.28%. In other words, the growth of confirmed HIPAA violations outpaced domestic oil production by a factor of nearly 4X during the past 10 years.

U.S. Oil Production since 2004
Source: BP

Congress Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low

A November 2013 Gallup poll revealed a scant 9% of the American public held a favorable view of Congress. While that number climbed somewhat to 12% by year’s end, it’s still a far cry from the 41% approval rating they had in 2004.

If we subtract those who approve and those who are undecided, we see that the disapproval rating for Congress went from 50% in 2004 to 85% in 2013. In other words, that represents a 5.45% compounded annual growth rate. While morbidly impressive, HIPAA violations still grew more than twice as fast as did the disapproval rating of Congress.

Disapproval Rating of Congress

Source: Gallup

Dow Jones Industrial Average Sees Record Growth

2013 was a record year for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Dow soared 26.5% and recorded its best year since 1995. When looked at from a 10 year span, the Dow saw a compounded annual growth rate of 4.39%. Again, we see that HIPAA violations grew 2.9X faster than the Dow Jones Industrial Average during that same time.

Down Jones Industrial Average

Source: Google Finance

Conclusion

Confirmed HIPAA violations are skyrocketing. Their growth rate over the past 10 years outpaces almost any trend that comes to mind. As the data shows, the HIPAA compliance landscape is getting more complicated and costly to abide by. If you are a HIPAA entity, don’t you want to work with a Business Associate that’s focused solely in your arena?