News & Analysis as of

As if a 20-Year Consent Order Wasn’t Enough Fun: FTC Brings First Monetary Settlement in Information Security Case

The FTC reached a $250,000 settlement with a 20-year consent order with Henry Schein Practice Solutions, Inc. over its use of allegedly subpar encryption technology in its offering to dental practices. This settlement is...more

University of Washington Medical School pays OCR $750,000 for data breach

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on Monday, December 14, 2014, that it has settled a HIPAA investigation with the University of Washington Medical School involving a data breach in October of 2013....more

University with Multiple Covered Entity Components Enters Into $750,000 HIPAA Settlement

On December 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a $750,000 settlement with the University of Washington (UW). This is the third HIPAA settlement announced by OCR...more

U.S. must crack down on small but hugely painful patient privacy breaches

Although Americans may live in dread about large-scale data breaches by big corporations, instances in which health care personnel inappropriately peek and tell information from patients’ private medical records can be...more

HIPAA and Health Care Data Privacy – 2015 Year in Review

As the year winds down, we look back with a mixture of nostalgia and queasiness on the major Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) events that defined 2015. Incredibly large data breaches became...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

Stolen, Unencrypted Laptop Leads to $850,000 Settlement and Comprehensive Corrective Action Plan for Massachusetts Teaching...

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), has announced a settlement with Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (Lahey) that arose out of a HIPAA breach involving a stolen laptop. The...more

Triple-S settles HIPAA violations for $3.5M

Triple-S Management Corp., an insurance holding company based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, has agreed to settle an investigation of HIPAA violations by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for $3.5 million. According to the OCR...more

Lahey Hospital agrees to pay a whopping $850,000 to OCR for stolen laptop

Just before Thanksgiving, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (Lahey) has agreed to pay $850,000 in fines and penalties to the OCR and enter into a resolution agreement following...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

HHS Office of Inspector General Calls for Increased Oversight and Enforcement of HIPAA

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Office of Evaluation and Inspections, released two studies calling on the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to...more

NAIC Adopts Cybersecurity Bill of Rights

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) continued its efforts to advance cybersecurity in the insurance industry when it recently adopted the Cybersecurity Bill of Rights. The Cybersecurity Bill of Rights...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

OCR Announces HIPAA Security Settlement with Cancer Care Group, P.C.

In September, 2015, OCR and HHS issued a press release announcing a Resolution Agreement with the Cancer Care Group, P.C., which included entry into the agreement, the adoption of a robust compliance plan, and the payment of...more

More Data Vulnerabilities, Cyber Breaches Detected in Healthcare Exchanges

Government audits continue to reveal that millions of people’s personally identifiable information is at risk. Continuous audit reports by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of The Department of Health and Human...more

The FTC’s Broad Authority and FTC v. Wyndham: Thinking about the Future of Data Privacy Regulations

What makes data privacy law interesting for academics, challenging for lawyers, and frustrating for businesses its shape-shifting structure in the face of rapidly changing technology. The recent change in the invalidation of...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

HIPAA Fine Underscores OCR’s Focus on Physician Group Compliance

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced a $750,000 fine and resolution agreement, including a Corrective Action Plan (CAP), for Cancer Care Group, P.C. (CCG), a...more

OIG report spurs OCR to announce phase 2 audits

On September 29, it was revealed that the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will commence Phase 2 of its HIPAA audit program in “early 2016.” OCR’s revelation regarding the Phase 2 audits, which had been the subject of...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

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

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