News & Analysis as of

HIPAA Data Breaches

HIPAA has been on the books since 1996. With the advent of electronic health records, HHS adopted security regulations to require covered entities to protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of electronic...more

Promises of Enhanced HIPAA Enforcement by HHS Illustrated by a Recent Record-Breaking Settlement Agreement and Increased Focus on...

An attorney from the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently disclosed that covered entities could face increased scrutiny for HIPAA violations in 2014. Specifically, the...more

HIPAA/HITECH Business Associate Agreements: The Home Stretch

The one-year transition rule expires on September 22, 2014. The final regulations under the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules as amended by HITECH, make several changes, including modifying the...more

Health Law Alert: The Deadline for Amending Business Associate Agreements is Quickly Approaching

A key change from 2013’s HITECH “Omnibus” Rule was a requirement that Business Associate Agreements (“BAAs”) be modified to reflect revisions to HIPAA regulations. When the rule was issued on January 25, 2013, Covered...more

Health Law Alert: HIPAA Enforcement on the Rise, as OCR Audit Program Moves Forward

A recent settlement from New York—involving the largest fine levied to date in the history of HIPAA enforcement, a staggering $4.8 million imposed on two public hospitals—should remind health care providers, health plans and...more

Policyholders Face Heightened Scrutiny Under OCR’s New Permanent Audit Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has notably increased enforcement of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and Health Information...more

Two Health Care Organizations Pay Largest HIPAA Fine at $4.8 Million Resulting from Unsecured Shared Network

New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University entered into a settlement with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to resolve allegations that the organizations had violated the...more

$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

Server Breach Makes ePHI Accessible on Google, Costs Covered Entities $4.8 Million

It would be pretty unsettling if your patient status, vital signs, medications, and laboratory results were available for the world to see on Google, wouldn’t it? According to recent settlement agreements announced by the...more

Florida Legislature Passes Stringent New Data Breach Law

On April 30, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 1524, otherwise known as the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014. If signed by the governor, starting July 1, this bill will impose stringent new requirements on...more

Coming Fall 2014: HHS Launches Permanent Audit Program

Beginning in the Fall of 2014, a substantial number of covered entities and business associates will receive a notification and data request from the Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR). According...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

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

Can covered entities run Windows XP and remain HIPAA compliant?

Microsoft recently announced that, after April 8, 2014, it will not longer provide security updates or technical support for Windows XP. Microsoft’s statement that “businesses that are governed by regulatory obligations such...more

HIPAA Housekeeping - Don't Forget Your Annual Report of Small Breaches

If you are a "covered entity" under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") and suffer a breach of protected health information, one of your first reactions should be to count the number of affected...more

How To Analyze A HIPAA Breach

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) and subsequent regulations have changed several aspects of compliance with HIPAA, including the way covered entities should think about...more

Recent HIPAA Settlement Highlights Danger of Failure to Perform Security Risk Assessments, Implement HIPAA Policies and Train...

A recent Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") settlement, which is notable as the first HIPAA settlement with a covered entity for failure to have policies and procedures in place to comply with...more

Covered Entity Fined $150,000 For Stolen Unencrypted Thumb Drive

HHS recently announced that it fined a dermatology practice $150,000 for failing to reasonably safeguard an unencrypted thumb drive and failing to conduct an accurate and thorough risk analysis of electronic PHI....more

Looking At The Past To Predict The Future Of HIPAA/HITECH Enforcement

2013 was a busy year for the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”). On January 17, 2013, HHS issued its Final Omnibus Rule, substantially modifying the Privacy, Security and Enforcement Rules promulgated by the...more

How To Catch-Up in a Revised HIPAA World

The HIPAA final omnibus rule (Omnibus Rule) made sweeping changes to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Breach Notification and Enforcement Rules earlier this year. Although the compliance deadline of September 23, 2013 has come...more

HHS Closes Out 2013 with 6th Resolution Agreement

Throughout 2013, HHS OCR has stated that covered entities of all sizes need to give priority to securing ePHI. In addition, HHS OCR has recommended that covered entities identify and mitigate risks before an incident occurs....more

Does HIPAA Apply to Employers?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, better known as HIPAA, protects the privacy and security of patient health information. A common question from human resource managers has been what is the impact of...more

OCR Releases Model Notices of Privacy Practices

Under the Privacy Rule, an individual has the right to adequate notice of how a covered entity may use and disclose PHI about the individual, as well as his/her rights and the covered entity’s obligations with respect to that...more

Hearing to Address HIPAA Accounting of Disclosures

The HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced that the Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee’s Privacy and Security Tiger Team will hold a virtual, public hearing on Monday, September 30 from 11:45 a.m. to...more

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