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GAO Report Criticizes HHS’ HIPAA Cybersecurity Guidance and Program

Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) security and privacy oversight and identified significant gaps in the cybersecurity guidance provided by...more

$2.75 Million OCR Settlement Underscores the Importance of Risk Management and Analysis

How the theft of a single password-protected laptop turned into an enterprise-wide review of an organization’s data protection practices. Following the announcement of a recent settlement between the U.S. Department of...more

Business Associates in the Crosshairs: Catholic Health Care Services Settles for $650,000 for Failure to Safeguard PHI

Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CHCS) recently agreed to enter into a $650,000 resolution agreement and a two-year corrective action plan (CAP) with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). CHCS...more

OCR Clarifies “Reasonable, Cost-Based” Fee Calculations for Access to Medical Records

By couching its position in an individual’s right to access protected health information (PHI), beginning on January 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance to...more

6/10/2016  /  HHS , HIPAA , OCR , PHI

One Week, $5.45 Million in Resolution Agreements for HIPAA Violations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) continued its run of resolution agreements for HIPAA violations, pulling in $5.45 million from just two entities, North Memorial Health Care of...more

ALJ Upholds OCR’s $239,800 CMP for Healthcare Provider

On January 13, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administrative Law Judge upheld the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR’s) civil monetary penalty (CMP) against Lincare, Inc., d/b/a United Medical (Lincare), for...more

HHS Removes Barriers to Reporting Federal Mental Health Prohibitor Status for Gun Background Checks

On January 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a modification to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) removing barriers to reporting federal mental health...more

1/18/2016  /  Background Checks , Gun Laws , HHS , HIPAA , NICS , PHI

OIG Emphasizes Proactive Enforcement of Privacy Rule and Monitoring of Repeat Offenders

The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) recently released Privacy Standards report assessed the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) oversight of covered entities’ compliance with the Privacy Rule as well as the extent to which...more

11/12/2015  /  Audits , Covered Entities , HIPAA , OCR , OIG

OIG Emphasizes Proactive Enforcement of Privacy Rule and Monitoring of Repeat Offenders

The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) recently released Privacy Standards report assessed the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) oversight of covered entities’ compliance with the Privacy Rule as well as the extent to which...more

11/11/2015  /  Healthcare , HIPAA , Medicare Part B , PHI , Privacy Rule

HIPAA Fine Underscores OCR’s Focus on Physician Group Compliance

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced a $750,000 fine and resolution agreement, including a Corrective Action Plan (CAP), for Cancer Care Group, P.C. (CCG), a...more

Deeper Dive: Healthcare Incidents Involving More Than 500 Individuals Are Investigated 100 Percent of the Time

We have released the inaugural BakerHostetler Data Security Incident Response Report, which provides insights generated from the review of more than 200 incidents that our attorneys advised on in 2014. The report confirms the...more

FAQs by Employers Regarding the Anthem Breach

Do we have any legal obligations under HIPAA? It depends on your contractual relationship with Anthem and whether the group health plan offered by your company is self-insured. If your company’s group health plan is...more

Ebola Information Quarantine: Balancing Patient Privacy With Public Health

Of all the complex legal issues raised by the recent cases of Ebola in the U.S., those concerning the delicate balance between preserving patients’ privacy rights and the need to disseminate information to protect public...more

11/3/2014  /  Ebola , EHR , Healthcare , HIPAA , PHI , Right to Privacy

Health System Pays $800,000 Fine for Leaving PHI in Doctor’s Driveway

While enforcement activity by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has focused primarily on a covered entity’s safeguard of electronic protected health information (ePHI),...more

6/27/2014  /  Enforcement , HHS , HIPAA , Medical Records , OCR , PHI

HHS Attorney: Major HIPAA Fines and Enforcement Coming

As regularly blogged about on the Data Privacy Monitor, the past 12 months have seen record-breaking HIPAA enforcement activity by HHS OCR. But according to recent remarks by a high-ranking HHS attorney, if you thought these...more

HHS Rule Grants Patients Direct Access to Lab Test Results

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published a Final Rule granting patients and their personal representatives access to the patient’s completed laboratory test reports directly from the lab...more

2/24/2014  /  CDC , CLIA , CMS , EHR , Healthcare , HHS , HIPAA , PHI

NICS and HIPAA: Where Mental Health Privacy and Gun Control Overlap; HHS Releases Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On January 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the purpose of modifying the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to...more

Healthcare Privacy – 2013 Year in Review

On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published the long-awaited HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule (Final Rule), which includes the most sweeping changes to HIPAA...more

Texas to Launch Nation's First Privacy and Security Certification "Safe Harbor"

The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) recently announced its selection of the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) Common Security Framework (CSF), the most widely adopted information privacy and security...more

Telemarketing: HIPAA Can Reverse the Charges Under the TCPA

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) generally limits automatically dialed and prerecorded telemarketing calls to wireless and residential phones. In the past, healthcare providers and other "advertisers" could rely...more

HIPAA Violation Results in $1.44M Jury Verdict Against Walgreens, Pharmacist

Although HIPAA does not create a private cause of action, a recent Indiana Superior Court jury verdict demonstrates that HIPAA still could play an important role in private causes of action in state court based on negligence...more

Business Associate Agreements: More Readily Accepted by Cloud Service Providers? Maybe

Although the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule's expansion of business associate liability could create difficulties for healthcare providers and other covered entities seeking to negotiate business associate agreements with vendors...more

Texas Bill Allows Doctors to Collect Patient Data by Swiping Driver's Licenses

The Texas Legislature recently approved S.B. 166, a bill that would allow healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses, dentists and others to collect and verify patient data by simply swiping a patient's driver's...more

HHS Considers Amending HIPAA Privacy Rule to Permit Disclosure of Mental Health Information for Firearm Background Checks

Adding yet another wrinkle to the nation’s contentious gun control debate, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) soliciting information and public...more

HIPAA/HITECH Final Rule - Assessing Your Organization's Compliance Readiness

The long awaited HIPAA/HITECH Final Rule became effective March 26, 2013, but covered entities, business associates and subcontractors will have until September 23, 2013, to fully comply. ...more

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