News & Analysis as of

WEBINAR: Breach, Enforcement and Beyond: HIPAA Breach Notification Analysis and OCR Enforcement Activities

The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Health and Human Services revised the breach notification regulations last year in order to make the analysis of whether a breach occurred more objective. In addition, OCR...more

Health Care Update - September 2014

In This Issue: - HealthCare.gov Hacking Breach - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Other Congressional and State Initiatives - Other Health...more

OCR to Begin Phase 2 of HIPAA Audit Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will soon begin a second phase of audits (Phase 2 Audits) of compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)...more

HIPAA Violation Results in $4.8 Million Settlement

While most healthcare providers know to pay close attention to the HIPAA rules when setting up their information technology systems, recent events have demonstrated that this close scrutiny should also be applied to computer...more

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

Failure to Encrypt Mobile Devices = Nearly $2 Million in Settlements

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) settled for the collective amount of $1,975,220 with Concentra Health Services (Concentra) and QCA Health Plan, Inc. (QCA). The settlements stem...more

“Cha-Ching” – HIPAA Settlement Reaches New Heights and Signals More To Come

In the largest HIPAA enforcement action to date, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) extracted $4.8 million from two leading New York institutions, New York-Presbyterian Hospital...more

Stolen Laptops Lead to $2 Million Fine To Settle HIPAA Violations

Lost or stolen unencrypted mobile devices — commonly laptops — are the primary cause of major healthcare data breaches. This unfortunate trend persists, despite warnings from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S....more

The Affordable Care Act – Where are We Now

With the passing of the March 31st deadline for the initial open-enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “ObamaCare”), the resignation of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and the...more

HHS OCR Settles Post-Data Breach Investigation for Record $4.8M

On May 7, 2014, HHS OCR announced a pair of resolution agreements with New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) and Columbia University (CU) totaling $4.8 million dollars—the highest settlement amount to date. These resolution...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

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

Health Law Insights Newsletter - April 2014

In This Issue: - Federal Updates - State Updates - HIPAA Updates - Excerpt from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Issues Guidance for Meaningful Use Hardship Exception: The Centers...more

Physical Therapy Provider Enters into HIPAA Settlement

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced yet another enforcement action. Specifically, OCR opened a compliance review of Concentra Health Services (Concentra) upon...more

HHS's New Security Risk Tool for HIPAA Compliance

On March 28, 2014, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in conjunction with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), released a Security Risk Assessment tool (SRA tool) to assist...more

Counties Beware – Your Governmental Status Does Not Protect You from Liability for a HIPAA Breach

As a county government, you may think that you have the protection of sovereign immunity and protection from other governments penalizing you. Your status does not protect you. The Department of Health and Human Services...more

Health Care Law Alert: Skagit County Fined $215,000 for HIPAA Violations

Skagit County in northwest Washington state has been fined $215,000 for violations of the HIPAA privacy, security, and breach notification rules. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights...more

35 Days And Counting - R.I.P. Windows XP

Effective April 9, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support or security updates for the Windows XP operating system. According to Microsoft, personal computers running Windows XP after April 8, 2014 should not...more

Health Care Entity Pays $150,000 to HHS as a Result of Stolen Thumb Drive Containing PHI

Encrypting USB drives, analyzing security risks, and implementing breach notification policies and procedures could mean the difference between compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”)...more

Data Breach Wall of Shame: 2013's Highlights and Lessons

Since 2009, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has posted all large data breaches – those that involve 500 or more individuals – online on its so-called “Wall of Shame.” In 2013, 160 large data breaches were reported to...more

Paying the Price: Physician Group Faces Hefty Penalty and OCR Oversight After Failure to Conduct Security Risk Assessment and...

What you need to know: The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Health & Human Services is continuing its trend toward more aggressive enforcement of HIPAA violations. Small provider entities are not immune...more

HHS Announces First HIPAA Settlement Based on Lack of Breach Notification Policies and Procedures

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced the first settlement under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) based on violations of the law's privacy, security,...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

Settlement Reached Regarding Dermatology Practice’s HIPAA Violation

Adult and Pediatric Dermatology (A&P Dermatology) of Concord, Massachusetts has entered into a resolution agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance...more

Providers: Prepare Your Breach Notification Policy!

On December 26, 2013, Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, a dermatology practice located in Massachusetts, agreed to pay a $150,000 fine after it lost an unencrypted thumb drive containing over 2,000 patients’ health records, and...more

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