ProPublica launches HIPAA Helper database to search breaches by providers

A new online tool from ProPublica allows users to search if their healthcare facilities, providers or payers have been involved in data breaches, privacy complaints or HIPAA violations.

The tool, called HIPAA Helper, aggregates data from HHS' Office for Civil Rights, the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

ProPublica's database differs from the HHS OCR's online complaint portal known as the "Wall of Shame" in that users can search by any keyword. What's more, ProPublica said the same entity often was recorded as different names on HHS' database. For example, CVS is listed as "CVS," "Pharmacy, CVS" and "CVS Caremark," among other variations. ProPublica has standardized organizations' names in its own database.

The database is part of ProPublica's series "Policing Patient Privacy."

More articles on HIPAA:

25 things to know about the state of health IT
Confidence, compliance and the cloud: 6 lessons learned from a HIPAA audit
UW Medicine reaches $750,000 HIPAA settlement for 2013 breach

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