Data Breach Office of Civil Rights

News & Analysis as of

2015: The Year of Healthcare Data Breaches

The healthcare industry suffered its worst year to date for data breaches in 2015. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), which tracks healthcare breaches that affect 500 or more...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

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

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

Mental health center hacked

Not-for-profit mental health center Emergence Health Network, located in El Paso, Texas, has announced that its computer servers were compromised “through an unauthorized internet connection” from as far back as 2012....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

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

SEC’s Increased Cybersecurity Enforcement and How to Reduce Your Risks

The SEC announced last week that an investment adviser had agreed to settle charges that it failed to take required steps to protect against and respond effectively to a cybersecurity breach. The action comes on the heels of...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

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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