Data Protection Office of Civil Rights

News & Analysis as of

OCR to Increase Efforts to Investigate Breaches Affecting Fewer Than 500 Individuals

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the federal agency tasked with investigating data breaches involving protected health information (PHI) under the Health Insurance Portability and...more

Health Update - July 2016

The Vulnerability of Healthcare Information - According to a report the Brookings Institute issued in May 2016, 23% of all data breaches occur in the healthcare industry. Nearly 90% of healthcare organizations had some...more

BYOD Risks under HIPAA – Does Your HIPAA Compliance Program Adequately Address the Ever Increasing Use of Portable Electronic...

Many U.S. employers are now allowing employees to use their own personal handheld devices and laptop computers for work-related purposes. As the age of employer-provided devices is coming to an end and “bring your own device”...more

Just a Matter of Time: First-Ever Settlement of HIPAA Claims Against a Business Associate

On June 30, 2016, the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the first-ever settlement of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) claims against a business associate. According...more

$650k Lesson in HIPAA Compliance for Business Associates: Nursing Home Management Company Settles With Government

Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CHCS) settled potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Security Rule after the theft of a CHCS mobile...more

Bad News for HIPAA Business Associates: HHS OCR Announces $650,000 Settlement for BA Breach

Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (“CHCS”), a HIPAA business associate, has agreed to pay the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) $650,000 in connection with a...more

OCR Warns of HIPAA Risks in Third-Party Apps

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently issued a warning regarding vulnerabilities in third-party applications used by entities covered by HIPAA. The OCR warning applies...more

OCR New Guidance Aims to Help Medical Mobile App Developers Predict when HIPAA Obligations Might Apply

Predicting whether the activities of a mobile health application developer trigger legal obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) presents some new challenges – not surprising...more

OCR Releases Tool to Help Organizations Safeguard Health Data

Health data is among the most attractive targets for cybersecurity attacks. To help ward off attacks, health care organizations and their subcontractors subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act...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 portal designed for medical mobile app developers

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services has launched a web based portal so medical mobile app developers can ask their “burning” questions about HIPAA compliance....more

Privacy, Security, Risk: What You Missed At IAPP Conference

Earlier this month, privacy and security professionals from around the globe gathered for “Privacy. Security. Risk. 2015”—the second joint conference between the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the...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 Reports Insufficient Oversight Of HIPAA Compliance

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) must improve its oversight and enforcement of patient information privacy and security rules by “covered entities” and their business associates under the Health Information Portability...more

Is Your HIPAA Compliance Program Ready for the FTC?

Everyone in healthcare knows that the next round of HIPAA audits is coming. Covered entities and business associates have long been advised to review and update their HIPAA security risk analyses, have business associate...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

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

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

Time for a HIPAA Security Check-Up!

The 2015 HIPAA Security conference held by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) kicked off last week with OCR’s...more

Back to School – HIPAA 101

After a summer that saw major data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management and UCLA Health System, this fall is a great time to take your organization back to school on HIPAA compliance and data security. Here are...more

HIPAA Settlement Regarding Use of Internet Applications

On July 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a settlement agreement with St. Elizabeth's Medical Center (SEMC) in Brighton, Massachusetts, regarding potential...more

Recent HHS Settlement Highlights Risks of Electronically-Sharing Protected Health Information

On July 10, 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced its second settlement of the year for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act...more

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