The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services will pay a $1.7 million federal fine to resolve violations of the HIPAA Security Rule under its Medicaid program.

The agency also has agreed to a corrective action program negotiated with the federal HHS Office for Civil Rights. The action comes following the theft of a USB drive, from the vehicle of a DHSS employee, that may have contained protected health information, according to a statement from the OCR. An investigation found DHSS had failed on many levels to protect electronic PHI.

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