Advocate Health Care, the largest delivery system in Illinois, on Thursday was hit with the largest fine ever levied on a healthcare organization charged with HIPAA violations.

The HHS Office for Civil Rights has fined Advocate $5.55 million. In announcing the punishment, OCR noted that the size of the penalty was “a result of the extent and duration of the alleged noncompliance (dating back to the inception of the Security Rule in some instances), the involvement of the State Attorney General in a corresponding investigation, and the large number of individuals whose information was affected by Advocate, one of the largest health systems in the country.”

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