Benefits Update - May 2012: HHS Begins HIPAA Privacy and Security Audits


[author: Callan Carter]

As you may recall, the HITECH Act required Health and Human Services (HHS), the federal agency in charge of administering HIPAA, to affirmatively conduct periodic audits to ensure that covered entities and business associates are complying with HIPAA's privacy and security rules. Before HITECH, HHS was mostly responding to complaints and not conducting random audits of HIPAA compliance.

HHS's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has launched a pilot audit program and expects to complete 150 audits by the end of 2012. These audits will include requesting documentation as well as onsite visits and a final report noting compliance issues.

These HHS audits can lead to compliance reviews, resulting in monetary settlements or the imposition of civil money penalties. Covered entities and business associates, including employer-provided health plans and their service providers, should make sure their workforce training, policies and procedures, and security risk assessments are in place, easily accessible and up-to-date.

For more information contact the author at or (415)490-9000.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Fisher & Phillips LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.