Data Security Dept. of Health and Human Services

News & Analysis as of

Now is a Good Time to Review Your HIPAA Policies

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced it is increasing its investigations of breaches of unsecured protected health information (PHI) affecting fewer than 500 individuals. As a reminder, the HIPAA Breach...more

$2.75 Million OCR Settlement Underscores the Importance of Risk Management and Analysis

How the theft of a single password-protected laptop turned into an enterprise-wide review of an organization’s data protection practices. Following the announcement of a recent settlement between the U.S. Department of...more

University of Mississippi to Pay $2.75 Million for Alleged HIPAA Violations

On July 21, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a settlement with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), stemming from a 2013 breach of...more

Guidance on Ransomware Attacks under HIPAA and State Data Breach Notification Laws

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently issued guidance under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) on what covered entities and business associates can do to prevent and...more

HIPAA News: HHS Getting Tough On ePHI Data Breaches

On August 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced a record-setting settlement with Advocate Health Care Network (Advocate) for multiple potential violations of HIPAA...more

Largest Health & Human Services HIPAA Settlement Wake-Up Call for Covered Entities to Evaluate and Mitigate Risks

On Thursday, August 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced the largest settlement ever with a single entity for multiple potential Health Insurance Portability and...more

Also In the News - Data, Privacy, & Security Practice Report - May 2016

OCR Releases Guidance On Data Security Incident Preparedness—On May 3, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released its cyber-awareness monthly update on the topic...more

Department of Health and Human Services Cracks Down on Vendor Oversight in Recent Hospital Settlements

From the rise in ransomware attacks to inadvertent disclosure of information by subcontractors, the health services industry is reminded that a potential consequence of a data breach is the threat of a regulatory enforcement...more

HHS Announces Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force

On March 16, 2016, via an online blog announcement, Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”) Acting Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield announced the formation of a Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force (“Task...more

HIPAA and Text Messaging

Text messaging is pervasive. Doctors and other health care providers, covered entities, and business associates currently use (and embrace) the technology. Texting is easy, fast and efficient. It doesn’t require a laptop...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

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

Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense - October 2015

"Wherefore Art Thou Due Process?" Part III - Why it matters: It is time for another installment in our continuing "Wherefore Art Thou Due Process?" coverage into the ongoing constitutional challenges to the SEC's...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

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

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

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

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

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

HHS Releases Highly Anticipated Proposal to Modernize U.S. Human Subjects Research Protections

In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) released September 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) and 15 other federal departments and...more

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