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Modernization? SAMHSA Falls Short in Updating 42 C.F.R. Part 2

On January 18, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) published a final rule amending 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (“Part 2”), with an effective date that...more

To Settle or Not to Settle – That Is the Question Raised by Recent HIPAA CMPs

On February 1, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (“Children’s”) has paid a civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) of $3.2 million...more

HIPAA Small Breach Notification Due March 1: “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb” if You Submit Timely

March 1, 2017 is the date by which HIPAA covered entities must notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of “small” breaches of unsecured protected health information that were...more

[Webinar] HIPAA in the Cloud – OCR Guidance on HIPAA and Cloud Service Providers - Jan. 31st, 1:00pm ET

As the health care sector further embraces the benefits of cloud computing, numerous challenges have arisen with applying HIPAA to cloud computing services....more

The Price of PHI – A $2.2 Million USB Drive

A stolen unencrypted USB drive led to a $2.2 million settlement and a Resolution Agreement. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on January 18th a settlement with MAPFRE Life...more

No Phishing: OCR Warns of Phishing Attempts Disguised as Official HIPAA Audit Program Emails

What’s worse than receiving an email indicating that you have been selected for an audit by your favorite government regulator? Clicking on a link in the email and discovering that it is a phishing attack that has just...more

Just Around the Corner – HIPAA Audits for Business Associates

Financial organizations that are business associates can expect a wave of HIPAA desk audits to evaluate the HIPAA compliance efforts of business associates. These audits have a limited focus and are conducted by the U.S....more

OCR Sets Sights on Smaller HIPAA Breaches

Covered entities and business associates can expect increased scrutiny for breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting fewer than 500 individuals. Starting August 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human...more

HIPAA Audit Check-Up – Where We Are and What’s to Come

Phase 2 of the HIPAA audits is fully underway, and covered entities now can take a breath if they have not received a desk audit request. But we still are at the beginning of Phase 2, with more to come. ...more

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

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

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

Business Associates Beware: First HIPAA Settlement with Business Associate

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has entered into a Resolution Agreement with a business associate over allegations that it potentially violated the Health...more

7/7/2016  /  Business Associates , HHS , HIPAA , OCR , PHI

HIPAA Enforcement Actions by the Numbers

Protecting patient information is a central duty for both covered entities and business associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Should a HIPAA-subject entity ever fail to protect...more

6/29/2016  /  Breach Notification Rule , HHS , HIPAA , OCR , PHI

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

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

February 2016: The Month of Groundhog Day, Super Bowl 50, Valentine’s Day … and HIPAA Breach Notifications

Feb. 29, 2016, a/k/a Leap Day, is the date by which HIPAA covered entities must notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of “small” breaches of unsecured protected health...more

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back: Proposed Changes to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Confidentiality Rule

On Feb. 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule putting forth amendments to the Alcohol...more

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

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

Premera Cyber-Attack Announced: Defining Your Obligations as an Employer

On March 17, 2015, Premera announced a data breach involving the personal information of more than 11 million individuals resulting from what it characterized as a sophisticated, targeted cyber-attack. Employers and plan...more

Employers: What the Anthem Breach Means to You

On Feb. 4, 2015, Anthem announced a data breach involving the personal information of more than 80 million individuals resulting from what it characterized as a sophisticated, targeted cyber-attack. Group health plans may be...more

Latest HIPAA Settlement: Compliance is an Ongoing Process

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued its first settlement under new OCR Director Jocelyn Samuels earlier this month. This latest settlement serves as a reminder that a...more

Ebola or Not, Patient Privacy Must Be Protected: Office for Civil Rights Issues Bulletin on HIPAA Requirements in Emergency...

In the wake of the recent Ebola cases, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new bulletin reminding HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates that the...more

11/13/2014  /  Data Protection , Ebola , EHR , Healthcare , HHS , HIPAA , OCR , PHI

Looming HIPAA Deadline: Update Business Associate Agreements by Monday, September 22, 2014

Business associate agreements that have not already been updated as required by the HIPAA Omnibus Rule should be updated by September 22, 2014. The Omnibus Rule changed and added mandatory language for valid business...more

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