Rebecca L. Williams

Rebecca L. Williams

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

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It’s Not the Olympics, but OCR Sets New HIPAA Settlement Records

Athletes at the Rio Olympics aren’t the only ones setting records this year. Hoping to send a “strong message” about the importance of safeguarding electronic protected health information (PHI) and conducting mandated risk...more

8/15/2016 - Business Associates Covered Entities Data Breach HHS HIPAA OCR PHI Risk Management Settlement

On the Trail for Pokémon – and HIPAA Compliance

Pikachu, Alakazam, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle can teach us a few things about HIPAA privacy. Pokémon GO is a recent craze encouraging people to try to catch’em all. As a result, employees, clients, and patients are...more

8/11/2016 - Business Associates Covered Entities HIPAA Mobile Devices PHI Pokemon

HIPAA Wake-Up Call for Financial Institutions: First HIPAA Settlement with Business Associate

It’s a HIPAA first. A business associate has settled a direct enforcement action over allegations that it potentially violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This settlement portends future...more

8/3/2016 - Business Associates Covered Entities Data Breach Enforcement Actions Financial Institutions HHS HIPAA OCR PHI Popular Settlement Agreements

The Audit Protocol is Released, and Other Updated HIPAA Audits News

As we previously reported, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launched Phase II of its audit program on March 21. Since that time, a significant amount of new information has emerged, including details regarding the...more

4/12/2016 - Business Associates Covered Entities HHS HIPAA HIPAA Audits OCR

OCR Phase 2 HIPAA Audits Are Here: What to Expect While You’re Expecting (an Audit)

The Phase 2 audit program for HIPAA compliance is under way. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it had launched the Phase 2 audits to examine and assess how covered...more

3/29/2016 - Breach Notification Rule Business Associates Covered Entities Health Care Providers HIPAA HIPAA Audits HIPAA Breach OCR PHI

HIPAA Audits to Include Financial Institutions—There’s an App for That

The Phase 2 audit program for HIPAA compliance now is underway — and financial institutions are on the list as potential targets. Many financial institutions are business associates under HIPAA, usually because of their...more

3/29/2016 - Covered Entities Financial Institutions HIPAA Audits HIPAA Breach OCR PHI Risk Assessment

Second CMP Assessed for HIPAA Violations: Do You Know Where Your Data Is?

For only the second time in its history, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has imposed a civil money penalty (CMP) on a covered entity for allegedly violating the HIPAA...more

2/10/2016 - ALJ Civil Monetary Penalty Corporate Counsel Covered Entities HHS HIPAA OCR PHI Privacy Rule

Upcoming HIPAA Audits May Target Financial Institutions—Here’s How to Prepare

Much like a tornado watch, the conditions appear to be right for a coming storm: the upcoming Phase 2 HIPAA audits. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has begun verifying contact...more

6/23/2015 - Audits Covered Entities Financial Institutions HHS HIPAA OCR Popular Risk Assessment Strategic Enforcement Plan

Encryption and Securing BYO Devices at the Heart of Massachusetts AG $100,000 Settlement

The Massachusetts Attorney General announced Friday that her office had reached a settlement with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) surrounding a 2012 data breach in which a physician’s unencrypted personal laptop...more

11/26/2014 - Bring Your Own Device Covered Entities Data Breach Data Protection Employer Liability Issues Encryption Health Care Providers Patient Confidentiality Breaches Personally Identifiable Information Popular

$4.8 Million – Largest HIPAA Settlement to Date

On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued a press release announcing that two health care organizations—New York and Presbyterian Hospital (“NYP”) and Columbia...more

5/9/2014 - Covered Entities Data Breach Electronic Medical Records HIPAA Hospitals Non-Judicial Settlement Agreements OCR Patient Confidentiality Breaches

Future OCR Audits Have Little in Common With Previous Round—Here’s How to Prepare

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently presented information about the new look of its Phase 2 audit program. The new audits will look little like the old ones, with OCR conducting the audits itself and focusing on...more

4/11/2014 - Audits Covered Entities HHS OCR Security Risk Assessments

New Omnibus Rule Released: HIPAA Puts on More Weight

On Jan. 17, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the long-awaited “Omnibus Rule,” which amends the administrative simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability...more

1/24/2013 - Business Associates Covered Entities Data Breach Data Protection Enforcement GINA HHS HIPAA HIPAA Omnibus Rule HITECH Marketing PHI Privacy Policy

HIPAA Omnibus Rule Released

At long last, after much delay and speculation, the HIPAA Omnibus Rule has been placed on display at the Federal Register in preparation for formal publication....more

1/18/2013 - Business Associates Compliance Covered Entities Data Breach Enforcement HIPAA HIPAA Omnibus Rule Marketing Notice Requirements PHI

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