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To Encrypt or Not to Encrypt—A $2 Million Question with a Simple Answer, HHS Says

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) just announced a pair of settlements arising out of the theft of two laptops containing protected health information (“PHI”). Two entities, Concentra Health Services...more

Health Update

Assessing the Medicare Shared Savings Program: Diverse Participants, Diverse Results - Rising healthcare costs and declining reimbursements have placed immense pressure on providers and health systems to manage the...more

Minimum Necessary and the Breach Standard

When the new HITECH rules came out OCR specifically said, “...uses or disclosures that impermissibly involve more than the minimum necessary information...may qualify as breaches.” But what exactly is the minimum necessary...more

OCR Announces the Results from it's Pilot Audit and it's Plans For Next Year

The Office of Civil Rights Audit Pilot Program has come to an end with 115 audits, primarily in person, having been completed. The Pilot Program had multiple revelations in privacy, some of which were probably, not so...more

FDA Releases FDASIA Health IT Report

On April 3, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the FDASIA Health IT Report (Report). This Report fulfills Section 618 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), Public Law...more

Recommendations for NextGen Health IT Infrastructure

Health care information technology (health IT) facilitates the delivery of personalized medicine by providing and supporting the infrastructure for patients, consumers and health care providers to communicate and distribute...more

Emerging EHR Risks: When Documentation May Not Be Enough (or Too Much)

Today’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) technologies feature many tools that help providers practice more efficiently and allow them to spend more time caring for patients. However, the federal government recently has posted...more

HHS releases new software for updating (but not replacing) HIPAA security risk assessment toolkits

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new, free, downloadable tool to assist small and medium-size health care provider offices to conduct security risk assessments (SRA)....more

Free HIPAA Help

Health care providers, health plans, business associates, and other entities affected by the federal HIPAA privacy and security regulations are quickly running out of excuses for not having a robust HIPAA compliance program...more

OCR Releases Information on What Phase 2 HIPAA Audits Will Look Like

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

New HIPAA Tool Released by the Federal Government – Makes Assessing Risks Easier and It Won’t Cost You a Dime

Do you lie awake at night wondering if you or the health care entity for which you work is complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”)? If so, you will be happy to hear that a good night’s...more

Federal agencies propose health IT regulatory framework, seek stakeholder input and participation in new initiatives

A little more than five years after the passage of the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Communications Commission and the Office of the...more

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

Government targets ‘risky business’ with free HIPAA assessment tool

Last week, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a toolkit for covered entities and business associates to use to perform a security risk assessment. The HIPAA Security Rule...more

No More Excuses: HHS Issues New HIPAA Tool for Small Businesses

Three U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) agencies, the Office for the National Coordinator for Health IT (“ONC”), in conjunction with the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) and the Office of the General Counsel...more

ONC’s Security Risk Assessment Tool Is Useful but Could Be Improved

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a Security Risk Assessment Tool (SRA Tool) on March 28. According to the User Guide for the SRA Tool, the Tool is designed to help small...more

Is Your HIPAA Compliance Program Going Out the Window with XP?

April 8, 2014 marks the end of Microsoft’s support for the Windows XP operating system, which means the end of security updates from Microsoft and the beginning of new vulnerability to hackers and other intruders into systems...more

New Round of HIPAA Audits To Begin Later This Year

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced it will resume its HIPAA compliance audit program — launched as a pilot program in 2012 — on a permanent basis in 2014. In...more

Tri-Agency Health IT Report Issued

Today, the three federal agencies charged with regulating components of health information technology (“Health IT”) issued their long-awaited Health IT Report: Proposed Strategy and Recommendations for a Risk-Based Framework...more

Hot Off the Press: Tool to Help Providers Conduct Security Risk Assessments

What’s Happening? The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in collaboration with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), recently released a jointly developed tool designed to assist...more

HHS releases Security Risk Assessment Tool to Help Providers with HIPAA Compliance

In collaboration with the HHS Office for Civil Rights, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released a new tool designed to help practices conduct and document a comprehensive assessment to...more

HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool Released by HHS

HIPAA security risk assessment (SRA) tool was recently made available through HHS. The tool was developed as a collaborative effort between the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC),...more

New Resource Available to Providers for HIPAA Security Rule Compliance

On March 28, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced the release of a security risk assessment (“SRA”) tool to assist small- to mid-sized providers in conducting risk assessments of their...more

OCR to Resume HIPAA Audits. Get Ready Now!

In a Feb. 24 notice in the Federal Register, the HHS's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced its intention to resume its HIPAA Audit Program. By and large, the audit program has been inactive since December 2012, when OCR...more

You're Not Immune: Hackers Target Health Care Providers Of All Shapes & Sizes

For health care providers, exposure to cyberattacks is becoming a stark reality. Findings in a recently released Health Care Cyberthreat Report by cybersecurity leaders confirmed the health care industry's vulnerabilities for...more

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