Data Protection Office of Civil Rights

News & Analysis as of

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

A New Era of HIPAA Enforcement

Traditionally, HIPAA enforcement is assigned to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR). In November 2013, Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General sharply criticized OCR’s...more

OCR’s Enforcement of HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules Continues with Robust 2014

With the news of the recent cyber-attack and resulting data breach at health insurance giant Anthem Inc., the buzz around data security and privacy is again high. The Anthem breach serves as a reminder to those entities...more

Office of Civil Rights Delays Phase 2 Audits

The Office of Civil RIghts (“OCR”) recently announced that Phase 2 of the HIPAA audits would be further delayed because the audit portals and project management tools that are needed to initiate the audit process are not...more

Pressure Points: OCR Enforcement Activity in 2014

During 2014, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services initiated six enforcement actions in response to security breaches reported by entities covered by the Health Insurance...more

On the Tenth Day of Privacy, OCR Gave to Me…..

……………..a cumbersome C-A-P The U.S Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has received tremendous publicity in recent years for its upward-trendingfines and aggressive enforcement of HIPAA...more

Just in Time for the Holidays: Another HIPAA Settlement

On December 2, 2014, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, Inc., (ACMHS) entered into a Resolution Agreement and Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to settle alleged violations of the...more

HIPAA Settlement Continues to Emphasize the Importance of Security Policies and Procedures

A recently announced settlement between Anchorage Community Mental Health (“ACMHS”) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) emphasizes, once again, the importance of compliance with...more

Blog: Alaska Provider Reaches HIPAA Settlement with OCR for Security Deficiencies

On December 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Anchorage Community Mental Health Services (“ACMHS”) has agreed to settle potential violations of the...more

HIPAA in the Time of Ebola

Ebola has recently been the source of much concern, and health care providers and hospitals are taking steps to prepare themselves for the possibility of treating patients with Ebola. In addition to all of the medical...more

Ebola or Not, Patient Privacy Must Be Protected: Office for Civil Rights Issues Bulletin on HIPAA Requirements in Emergency...

In the wake of the recent Ebola cases, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new bulletin reminding HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates that the...more

Government Conference Highlights Need for Protecting Health Information

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently highlighted the importance of protecting health information at the...more

“LoProCo”, 12,915 Complaints, and Other Lessons from OCR/NIST

12,915 complaints were reported in 2013 to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) according to Illiana L. Peters, Senior Adviser for HIPAA Compliance and Enforcement. Cozen O’Connor...more

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

HIPAA For Lawyers And Law Firms: What you need to know to prevent your law firm from paying MILLION$

For years now lawyers and law firms providing professional services to health care providers or health insurance plans should have had in place essential safeguards to meet the responsibilities and requirements as business...more

Recent OCR Reports Illustrate Past and Future Compliance and Enforcement Efforts

Daily news stories about data breaches and enforcement actions seem to be the new norm, so it’s no surprise that people may start to believe that hackers have won the war and that no personal health information is safe. But...more

New HIPAA Reports to Congress Shed Light on OCR Enforcement

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued two reports to Congress, as required by the HITECH Act. The compliance report details OCR’s enforcement activities for 2011 and 2012 and...more

Health System Investigated for Leaving PHI in Doctor’s Driveway – Settles with OCR for $800K

While OCR enforcement activity has focused on a covered entity’s safeguarding of ePHI, organizations cannot forget about PHI in non-electronic form. To settle potential violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, Parkview Health...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

Policyholders Face Heightened Scrutiny Under OCR’s New Permanent Audit Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has notably increased enforcement of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and Health Information...more

Regulatory double jeopardy? FTC enforcement of privacy and security in healthcare

How should health care companies strengthen their HIPAA compliance programs to manage the risk of a potential FTC investigation? While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights...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

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

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