Business Associates Office of Civil Rights

Business Associates can refer broadly to individuals engaged in business relationships with one another. However, in the HIPAA context, the term has a specific statutory meaning and those characterized as... more +
Business Associates can refer broadly to individuals engaged in business relationships with one another. However, in the HIPAA context, the term has a specific statutory meaning and those characterized as business associates have expanded data protection obligations and duties. Essentially, a business associate under HIPAA is a person or entity that performs certain functions or services which necessitates exposure to protected health information on behalf of a covered entity. Typical business associate functions include: claims processing or administration, data analysis, billing, etc.    less -
News & Analysis as of

Check Your Inbox: OCR Continues to Verify Entity Contact Information for Phase 2 HIPAA Audits

Covered Entities need to continue to check their inboxes for emails from the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) requesting verification of contact information in connection with Phase 2 of the HIPAA Audit Program. OCR...more

Coming Soon to Your Inbox! Phase 2 of OCR's Audit Program for HIPAA Compliance

On March 21, 2016, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it was ready to begin Phase 2 of its audit program for HIPAA compliance, which will include auditing...more

Health Law Wire: Recent HIPAA Settlements Highlight the Importance of Business Associate Agreements (5/16)

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services that enforces the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, recently sent a clear message about the importance of business...more

Recent Settlements and Upcoming Audits Highlight the Continuing Need to Focus on Core HIPAA Compliance Measures

Recent settlements and initiatives conducted by the Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlight the continuing need for focus on compliance with the privacy and security...more

What's New with HIPAA?

A number of new developments have taken place related to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security compliance, and enforcement is increasing. Healthcare providers, health plans and other...more

OCR Updates HIPAA Audit Protocol for Phase 2

Recently, the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) provided an updated protocol that it will use when assessing compliance with HIPAA rules. OCR recently began Phase 2 of its HIPAA compliance audits, extending coverage of these...more

Expansion of HIPAA audit program now underway

As detailed in our latest webinar, “Daunting but doable: Preparing for the next round of HIPAA audits,” the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has begun implementing the first full-phase HIPAA audit program. The 2009 HITECH Act,...more

HIPAA Phase 2 Audits: Actions Not Just Words

Action Item: With the commencement of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Phase 2 audits, and the increase in HIPAA enforcement activity, covered entities and business associates need to take HIPAA...more

Phase 2 of the OCR HIPAA Audit Program Already Underway

On March 21, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the launch of the long-awaited Phase 2 HIPAA Audit Program (Phase 2), and OCR activities related to Phase 2 are already...more

New HIPAA Phase 2 Audits: Targets Notified by Email Only

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced the long-awaited launch of Phase 2 of its HIPAA Audit Program (Phase 2 Audits). The Phase 2 Audits will review the policies...more

Spring Showers Bring HIPAA Breaches

OCR has announced several recent settlement agreements to resolve violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). These settlement amounts range from $25,000 to $3.9 million dollars and...more

OCR Releases Updated HIPAA Audit Protocol and Business Associate Listing Template

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently updated the audit protocol that it will be using to assess Covered Entities’ and Business Associate’s compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)...more

Two Additional HIPAA Settlements Demonstrate Breadth of HIPAA Enforcement Activity

During the week of April 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced two significant settlements with a large New York City hospital and a North Carolina orthopaedic...more

Department of Health and Human Services Cracks Down on Vendor Oversight in Recent Hospital Settlements

From the rise in ransomware attacks to inadvertent disclosure of information by subcontractors, the health services industry is reminded that a potential consequence of a data breach is the threat of a regulatory enforcement...more

Understanding when Business Associate Agreements are necessary can avoid costly and embarrassing enforcement actions

A recently publicized settlement with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlights that it is not only important to have a HIPAA-compliant form of business associate agreement...more

Not a Check-the-Box Exercise: Failure to Have Signed BAA Results in Substantial Fine

A group practice that was the victim of a silver-harvesting scam has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) $750,000 to settle charges that it released protected health information (“PHI”) of...more

OCR issues audit protocol and targets over 800 entities—business associates too

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued its revamped audit protocol for its second phase of auditing covered entities and business associates’ compliance with the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules....more

OCR Releases New HIPAA Audit Protocol and Other Audit-Related Materials

Earlier this month the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a revamped audit protocol that now addresses the requirements of the 2013 Omnibus Final Rule. OCR will be using the audit...more

How to Prepare for the Next Round of HIPAA Audits

Nearly two years after the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) first announced its preparation for another round of HIPAA audits, Phase II of OCR’s HIPAA audit program is finally underway. On March 21, OCR began emailing...more

HIPAA Audits Coming Your Way – Are You Ready?

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services has begun Phase 2 of its audit program under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In this phase, OCR will: -...more

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

SOS Answered: New Guidance on HIPAA for App Developers

Amidst criticism that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) lags behind technological innovation, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released new guidance to aid app developers in determining how...more

Shhh….OCR Releases New HIPAA Audit Protocol

Just in time for the Phase 2 audits, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) quietly posted the updated HIPAA Audit Protocol on its website. The new audit protocol has been updated to include...more

With New Round of HIPAA Audits, It is Critical to Have Updated Privacy and Security Policies in Place

Health care providers should be on high alert for electronic requests from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR). A new HIPAA audit protocol has been posted by the OCR and includes new...more

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Advisory: So You Heard About HIPAA Phase 2 Audits. What Should You Do Now?

As you may have recently read (for example, “HHS/OCR Announces Launch of HIPAA Audit Program Phase 2”), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has started “Phase 2” of its audit...more

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