News & Analysis as of

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

OIG Reports Insufficient Oversight Of HIPAA Compliance

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) must improve its oversight and enforcement of patient information privacy and security rules by “covered entities” and their business associates under the Health Information Portability...more

Is Your HIPAA Compliance Program Ready for the FTC?

Everyone in healthcare knows that the next round of HIPAA audits is coming. Covered entities and business associates have long been advised to review and update their HIPAA security risk analyses, have business associate...more

OIG Calls for Stronger HIPAA Compliance Efforts

The OIG has issued two reports calling for stronger ONC oversight of covered entity compliance with HIPAA standards. In the first report, “OCR Should Strengthen Its Oversight of Covered Entities’ Compliance with the HIPAA...more

Reports Instruct Office of Civil Rights to Increase HIPAA Enforcement Activities

On September 29, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released two reports that reviewed the Office of Civil Rights’ (OCR) enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The...more

OCR announces launch of Phase 2 of HIPAA audits

Although the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has indicated in the past that it would start its next round of HIPAA audits, apparently it means business now. In the wake of an Inspector General report that the OCR was merely...more

Blog: HHS To Launch New HIPAA Audits in Early 2016 in Response to OIG Reports

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued two reports yesterday calling for the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to strengthen its Health Insurance Portability and...more

Just in Time for the Phase II Audits: OIG Criticizes OCR’s Enforcement Efforts

As HIPAA-regulated entities anxiously await the commencement of the Phase II HIPAA audit program, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a report critical of...more

Alert: UCLA Cleared in Lawsuit Alleging Lax Authentication Involving Insider Access to Medical Records

Earlier this month, a California jury found the University of California, Los Angeles Health System (UCLA) not liable for damages that allegedly resulted when a medical office assistant, Alexis Price, improperly accessed and...more

FCC’s New Order Provides Some Guidance for Imaging Centers Placing Autodialed Calls to Patients

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) protects consumers from unwanted telephone calls and text messages by requiring a business to obtain prior express consent before placing autodialed or prerecorded voice calls to...more

Fitbit Agrees to Sign Business Associate Agreements and Take on HIPAA Compliance

Is your Fitbit data covered by HIPAA? It depends upon where you got it (kind of). If you go to the store and pick up a Fitbit on your own, the data it generates is governed by the user agreement that you click through...more

Cure of Security Rule Violations Following Breach of EPHI Cannot Save Covered Entities from $750,000 Settlement; Non-Breach...

More than three years after the Cancer Care Group, P.C. (“CCG”) notified the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) of a breach of unsecured electronic protected health...more

Don’t Wait for It; Recent HIPAA Enforcement Action Signal More to Come in Phase 2 Audits

Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) have recently selected a vendor to conduct the second wave of HIPAA audits. These so-called “Phase 2 Audits” are set to commence...more

Don't Wait for It; Recent HIPAA Enforcement Action Signal More to Come in Phase 2 Audits

Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) have recently selected a vendor to conduct the second wave of HIPAA audits. These so-called "Phase 2 Audits" are set to commence...more

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