Covered Entities Office of Civil Rights

News & Analysis as of

HIPAA Checkup – How Good Are Your Policies and Procedures?

Although it is not a new requirement, it is important and therefore worth a reminder: HIPAA requires covered entities to establish and implement written policies and procedures that are consistent with its Privacy and...more

2017 HIPAA Enforcement: Year to Date Lessons

With the announcements from OCR of three resolution agreements and one civil money penalty as of mid-February, OCR is off to a record start for HIPAA enforcement in 2017, with double the announcements as the same time last...more

HIPAA Enforcement Update (October 2016 – January 2017)

Since October 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced four settlement agreements to resolve allegations of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)...more

HIPAA Small Breach Notification Due March 1: “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb” if You Submit Timely

March 1, 2017 is the date by which HIPAA covered entities must notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of “small” breaches of unsecured protected health information that were...more

Children’s Medical Center of Dallas Clobbered by OCR

In a rare move by the OCR, it assessed a $3.2 million fine against Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (Children’s) after it issued a Notice of Proposed Determination against Children’s and Children’s failed to request a...more

Lessons Learned from Recent OCR Settlements

We can learn some valuable lessons about compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) from settlements that are announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office...more

Recent HIPAA Enforcement Actions

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced the first ever settlement related to a Covered Entity’s untimely breach notification in violation of HIPAA. Presence Health,...more

Tracking the Data Bandits

In the iconic western, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Butch and Sundance are hard pressed to evade a posse led by the semi-mythical lawman, Joe Lefors, who is so adept that he manages to track them across solid rock. The...more

HIPAA Breach? Notify Promptly or Face Significant Potential Fines from HHS OCR

On January 9, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR), which enforces the privacy requirements contained in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), announced a...more

HHS Gets Agressive: HIPAA Audits from 2016

HHS has become more aggressive with audits, and with increased penalties, covered entities and business associates simply cannot afford an audit on HIPAA rules and regulations. In March of 2016, HHS's Office for Civil Rights...more

Health Care Group News: OCR Releases New Clarifying Guidance In Response To Orlando Pulse Nightclub Attack

In an emergency, when there is a flurry of activity in a hospital, covered entities often struggle with who they are permitted to release patient information to under HIPAA. On January 11, 2017, the Department of Health and...more

Federal Court Enjoins Part of ACA Final Non-Discrimination Rule

On December 31, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction in Franciscan Alliance, Inc. v. Burwell, N.D. Tex., No. 16-cv-108, holding that portions of the final rule issued...more

Time Waits for No One: OCR Announces First HIPAA Settlement for Lack of Timely Breach Notification

On Jan. 9, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced the first HIPAA enforcement action for failure to timely report a breach. Often investigating and making formal...more

Time is of the Essence When Reporting a Breach of PHI

The failure to timely report a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI) has cost Presence Health (one of the largest health systems in Illinois) almost half of a million dollars. Earlier this month,...more

Healthcare Provider Obligations For Individuals With Limited English Proficiency

This summer I wrote about the dangers of English-only policies in this age of multiculturalism. These policies tend to emerge more frequently in the healthcare workplace, the reason being – the provision of quality care is...more

Portions of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act Enjoined by Texas Federal Court – Majority of Regulation Remains Intact.

In May 2016, the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) issued a Final Rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Section 1557 prohibits “covered...more

Looking Back at the HIPAA Resolution Agreements in 2016

In 2016, Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the enforcement arm for HIPAA, continued robust enforcement efforts. There were 12 reported resolution agreements (RA) in 2016. An RA is a settlement...more

21st Century Cures Act - HIPAA & Other Privacy Considerations

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (the Cures Act) into law. The Cures Act addresses a wide range of healthcare topics including clinical research, treatment of mental health and substance...more

AGG Food and Drug Newsletter - December 2016

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP's Food and Drug Newsletter is a monthly update of legal and regulatory issues that affect the FDA-regulated community, including regular updates on legislative initiatives from AGG’s Washington, DC...more

HHS OCR Levies Significant HIPAA Penalties in a Series of Recent Settlements: Covered Entities and Business Associates Alike...

Between June and November 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) has announced seven high-dollar settlements to resolve alleged violations of the HIPAA privacy, security, and breach...more

No Phishing: OCR Warns of Phishing Attempts Disguised as Official HIPAA Audit Program Emails

What’s worse than receiving an email indicating that you have been selected for an audit by your favorite government regulator? Clicking on a link in the email and discovering that it is a phishing attack that has just...more

Five Key Issues Impacting Health Care Employers

Employers in the health care industry are likely to face significant changes under President-elect Donald J. Trump’s administration and should expect a healthy dose of uncertainty for the next few months. During his campaign,...more

The Clock Is Ticking – ACA Nondiscrimination Rules Will Take Effect January 1

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) published a final rule to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most prominently, this rule...more

OCR Issues Alerts Regarding Phishing Email Disguised as Official OCR Audit Communication

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published an alert on November 28 describing a phishing email being circulated on mock HHS departmental letterhead under the signature of OCR Director Jocelyn Samuels. The email prompts...more

Physician Practices Beware: Scam Email Disguised as Communication from Office of Civil Rights Regarding HIPAA Audit

Receiving an email that your practice has been identified for participating in the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Rules Audit Program is enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure. The likely response is to open the email...more

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