News & Analysis as of

Historic Moment: Husband Reports Wife’s HIPAA Violation Triggering Six Figure Penalty Against Employer

For the second time in history, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has imposed a civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) against a covered entity for violations of the Health Insurance and Portability Act (“HIPAA”). Lincare, Inc., a...more

Is your institution of higher education covered by HIPAA?

It comes as no surprise that virtually every postsecondary administrator is familiar with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). After all, FERPA, the primary federal law...more

2016 HIPAA Audits to Begin: Are you Confident in Your HIPAA Compliance?

Although the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or “HIPAA,” has been around since 1996, with its implementing regulations first published in the early 2000s, it is definitely not “old news.” In light of...more

Four Questions to Ask before Disclosing (or Withholding) PHI in Transaction Due Diligence

HIPAA’s restrictions on the use or disclosure of protected health information (“PHI”) by a covered entity or business associate may be familiar to many in healthcare. Also familiar may be the exception that allows covered...more

OCR issues new guidance on individuals’ access to PHI: Is your access policy compliant?

On Jan. 7, 2016, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued new guidance (Guidance) on the right of individuals under the HIPAA Privacy Rule to access their protected health information (PHI). In the Guidance, the OCR indicated...more

Making it easier to get your own medical records

Getting a copy of your own medical records is supposed to be easy and inexpensive. It also can be essential for ensuring the best medical care. But many hospitals and doctors have made it difficult and pricey, and the federal...more

HIPAA Privacy Rule Amendment will Permit Very Limited Reporting of Mental Health Information to the NICS

An amendment to HIPAA’s privacy rules will allow a limited subset of covered entities (such as, potentially, state agencies) to disclose information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)....more

HIPAA Privacy Regulations Amended to Allow Disclosures of Mental Health Information for Firearm Background Checks

On January 4, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) modified the HIPAA Privacy Rule to expressly permit certain covered entities to disclose to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)...more

WEBINAR: Creating Stable Security and Compliance Relationships Between Health Care Organizations and Vendors

The Omnibus Rule implementing the HITECH Act made several changes to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules that profoundly changed the dynamic between health care providers and vendors. In addition, the Breach Notification...more

Health Care: HIPAA Covered Entities - Your Organization’s Liability after a Cyber-Attack (12/15)

It is difficult for companies to manage the rapidly evolving legal landscape of cybersecurity. All companies, no matter the size, are potential targets for a cyber-attack. A common question posed by concerned In-House...more

PHI on the Cloud and White Label Covered Entities: HIPAA Challenges for Telemedicine Providers

Both telemedicine providers and technology companies that serve the telehealth industry face some unique and sometimes complicated challenges dealing with HIPAA, especially as it relates to the storage, transmission, and use...more

Another Day, Another OCR Resolution Agreement – Numerous Repeated Breaches Lead to $3.5 Million Settlement

On the heels of the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center resolution agreement, OCR announced a resolution agreement with Triple-S Management Corporation and its subsidiaries, Triple-S Salud Inc. and Triple-C Inc. (collectively...more

High Cost of HIPAA Violations Demonstrated in $3.5 Million Settlement

Triple-S Management Corporation (“Triple-S”), on behalf of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Triple-S Salud, Inc., Triple-C, Inc., and Triple-S Advantage, Inc., has agreed to pay $3.5 million as part of a Resolution Agreement...more

OCR HIPAA Phase 2 Audits Coming Soon. Be Prepared.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced that the agency expects to begin Phase 2 Audits in early 2016. OCR intends to conduct desk audits and on-site audits of covered...more

Blog: Hospital and Vendor Reach Agreement to Settle Alleged HIPAA Violations with Connecticut AG

Last week, the Connecticut Attorney General (the “Connecticut AG”) announced that Hartford Hospital and its subcontractor, EMC Corporation (“EMC”), agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and...more

OIG Emphasizes Proactive Enforcement of Privacy Rule and Monitoring of Repeat Offenders

The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) recently released Privacy Standards report assessed the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) oversight of covered entities’ compliance with the Privacy Rule as well as the extent to which...more

DWT Releases Latest Health Care Breach Charts

Safeguarding patient information is at the core of responsibilities for health care entities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). But safeguarding patient information isn’t just a regulatory...more

HIPAA and Text Messaging

Text messaging is pervasive. Doctors and other health care providers, covered entities, and business associates currently use (and embrace) the technology. Texting is easy, fast and efficient. It doesn’t require a laptop...more

OCR Audits to Begin in 2016

Beginning in 2016, the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will conduct another round of audits to gauge compliance with privacy provisions in the Health Insurance Portability...more

Data-Harvesting Zombie Hackers, Blood-Thirsty Auditors, and Other Reasons to be Scared on Halloween

This Halloween, the scariest monsters might not be in your closet or under your bed. They may be overseas, orchestrating intrusions into your electronic medical record. Or they may be lurking in your own workforce, carrying...more

HHS’ Selection of Contractor Provides Latest Update on Impending Second Round of HIPAA Audits

On October 27, 2015, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) official stated that the agency has hired FCi Federal, a provider of management and professional services to government agencies in Ashburn, VA, to...more

HIPAA Double Take: What Health Plan Sponsors Need to Know Now

With the onslaught of Affordable Care Act changes, health plan sponsors have much to think about lately. Given the number of other issues affecting them, plan sponsors may feel that HIPAA privacy and security is an issue they...more

OIG Pushes OCR to Step Up HIPAA Enforcement

In two recent reports, each with a specific focus, the OIG strongly recommended that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) step up its HIPAA oversight and enforcement activities. One report assessed the OCR’s oversight of covered...more

Alphabet Soup and Data Security

In the span of two days, mobile device users learned of two data breaches that could compromise their personal data. In one, Experian (a credit reporting agency) reported that it was hacked, potentially putting 15 million...more

Privacy, Security, Risk: What You Missed At IAPP Conference

Earlier this month, privacy and security professionals from around the globe gathered for “Privacy. Security. Risk. 2015”—the second joint conference between the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the...more

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