News & Analysis as of

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

What's So Great About an Information Security Policy?

Lawyers and compliance professionals constantly tout the importance of internal information security policies, particularly in light of data privacy problems that are reported almost daily in the media. Admittedly, drafting...more

Evolving Litigation of Data Breach Claims

An Illinois circuit court judge has dismissed five of six claims in a consolidated class action against Advocate Health and Hospital Corporation arising from a data breach in July 2013. The judge’s dismissal with prejudice...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

Recent Enforcement Shows the Importance of Encrypting Mobile Devices Containing Protected Health Information

With headlines every day announcing another release of Protected Health Information (PHI), providers are asking themselves – is there a way to protect against these breaches? Beyond improving the security of large...more

How to Avoid and Respond to a Cybersecurity Breach

In light of numerous recent data breaches, cybersecurity has emerged as an issue impacting organizations ranging from the local hardware store to the largest multi-national firms in the world. In short, no industry is immune...more

OCR Enters into $750,000 Settlement with Physician Practice for HIPAA Violations

On September 2, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced a settlement with Cancer Care Group, P.C., a thirteen-physician oncology practice in Indiana related to violations of the...more

OCR settlement reiterates importance of proactive security rule compliance

On September 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that Cancer Care Group, P.C. (CCG), a physician practice located in Indiana, agreed to pay $750,000 as part of a settlement to resolve...more

Stolen Laptop Bag Leads to $750,000 Fine for Oncology Group

On September 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a substantial settlement with an Indiana-based oncology group, Cancer Care Group, P.C. (CCG). Under the terms of...more

$750,000 HIPAA Settlement Reinforces Need to Be Proactive

As the Department of Health and Human Services’ (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) proceeds with its second round of HIPAA audits, this time covering business associates as well as covered entities, a recent settlement...more

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