Debunking Myths: Security Risk Analysis for Chiropractors

Nov 1, 2023 | Member Providers, Providers

by Ray Foxworth, D.C., FICC • 

President & Founder, ChiroHealthUSA • 

In today’s digital age, chiropractors, like many healthcare professionals, rely heavily on technology to manage patient records, streamline operations, and enhance patient care. However, with the convenience of digital systems comes the responsibility of safeguarding sensitive patient information. This is where Security Risk Analysis (SRA) comes into play. To help chiropractors better understand this crucial aspect of healthcare data management, we’ll debunk the top 10 myths about SRA, drawing insights from the resources provided by (, 2023)

Myth 1: Security Risk Analysis is Optional

One common misconception is that SRA is optional in healthcare data management. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates that all healthcare providers, including chiropractors, conduct regular SRAs to identify and mitigate security risks.

Myth 2: SRA is a One-Time Activity

Some believe that SRA is a one-and-done process. On the contrary, it is required to be performed every two years unless there has been a significant change in the practice – or if you meet the low volume threshold for Medicare. The threat landscape constantly evolves, so regular risk assessments are essential to stay ahead of emerging security threats.

Myth 3: SRA is Only About Technology

SRA isn’t just about assessing software and hardware vulnerabilities. It also involves evaluating your practice’s physical security, administrative policies, and employee training, among other factors.

Myth 4: SRA is Expensive and Time-Consuming

While it requires time and resources, SRA is a cost-effective strategy compared to a data breach’s potential financial and reputational damage. Moreover, it’s a regulatory requirement, making it a necessary part of practice operations.

Myth 5: SRA Guarantees Perfect Security

No security system is foolproof, and an SRA doesn’t promise absolute protection from all threats. However, it significantly reduces the risk of security breaches and helps you implement safeguards to protect patient data.

Myth 6: Small Practices are Immune to SRA Requirements

Regardless of the practice size, all healthcare providers must conduct SRAs. Smaller practices may have fewer resources, but the risk of data breaches is just as real for them.

Myth 7: SRA is a One-Size-Fits-All Process

Each chiropractic practice is unique, and SRA should be tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, as vulnerabilities and risks differ from one practice to another.

Myth 8: You Can Outsource SRA Completely

While you can seek assistance from experts in security risk analysis, it’s essential to understand that the ultimate responsibility for the security of patient data lies with the practice itself. You can outsource the process but not the accountability.

Myth 9: SRA is Solely an IT Department’s Responsibility

SRA should involve the entire practice, not just the IT department. Team members should be educated about security best practices and how their actions can impact data security.

Myth 10: SRA is About Compliance, Not Security

While compliance with HIPAA is a significant motivator for conducting SRAs, viewing it as a tool for enhancing overall security is crucial. An effective SRA helps you meet regulatory requirements and strengthens your practice’s defenses against cyber threats.

Penalties for non-compliance with HIPAA regulations include civil monetary penalties ranging from $100 to $50,000 per violation, depending on the level of culpability. Criminal penalties can also be imposed for intentional violations, leading to fines and potential imprisonment. Additionally, state attorneys general have the authority to hold HIPAA-covered entities accountable for the unauthorized use or disclosure of PHI of state residents and can file civil actions with the federal district courts. HIPAA violation fines can be issued up to a maximum level of $25,000 per violation category per calendar year. The minimum fine applicable is $100 per violation. (The HIPAA Journal, 2023)

A Security Risk Analysis is a critical aspect of healthcare data management that chiropractors must pay attention to. By dispelling these common myths and understanding the true nature of SRA, chiropractic practices can take proactive steps to protect patient data, ensure compliance with HIPAA, and maintain the trust of their patients. Remember, data security is not an option but an ethical and legal responsibility in today’s interconnected healthcare landscape. Not sure if your HIPAA compliance can withstand an audit? Schedule your free Gap Analysis with ChiroArmor. In under 30 minutes, our team of experts can outline the areas you need to beef up in your current compliance program.