News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Pays $218,400 to Settle Alleged HIPAA Security Case Stemming from Use of Cloud-Based Document...

Alleged HIPAA Violations Resulted from Medical Center’s Failure to Risk Assess Internet-Based Document Sharing Application and Inadequate Breach Response. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for...more

Internet-Based Document Sharing Applications Scrutinized

On July 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (SEMC) located in Boston, Massachusetts entered into an agreement following an investigation...more

Hospital’s Cloud-Based Document-Sharing Practices Lead to $218,400 HIPAA Settlement

On July 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a substantial settlement with St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (SEMC). Under the terms of the settlement, the hospital...more

Use of File-Sharing Service Leads To $218,400 Fine For HIPAA Violations

Internet-based file-sharing services such as Dropbox and Google Drive can be easy and convenient to use, whether via the touch of an app on a mobile device or by opening a browser on a PC. Healthcare professionals are often...more

Massachusetts Hospital Agrees to Six-Figure Payment Related to HIPAA Compliance Allegations

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (SEMC), a tertiary care hospital based in Brighton, Mass., agreed to pay $218,400 to address deficiencies in its HIPAA compliance activities. The SEMC settlement continues a pattern of...more

Deeper Dive: Healthcare Incidents Involving More Than 500 Individuals Are Investigated 100 Percent of the Time

We have released the inaugural BakerHostetler Data Security Incident Response Report, which provides insights generated from the review of more than 200 incidents that our attorneys advised on in 2014. The report confirms the...more

ONC Releases Privacy and Security Guidance Geared Toward Small Providers

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) recently released a new and improved version 2.0 of their Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information. This revamped...more

HIPAA Rules and Procedures in the Event of a Data Breach, Part One

As discussed in my prior post, recent massive data breaches at major retailers and health insurance providers paint a bleak picture of modern data and emphasize the importance of strong security safeguards and plans for...more

HIPAA and “Meaningful Use” Audits: Issues to Consider and How to Prepare

As more and more providers adopt electronic health records (“EHRs”) systems (and with new regulations concerning their required use for purposes of Medicare billing for chronic care management, their popularity can only...more

Health Update - November 2014

“Healthcare-Related” Calls: Ambiguity at the Intersection of HIPAA and TCPA - Editor’s Note: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established exemptions from certain requirements of the Telephone Consumer...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™

Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Health System Network Affecting 4.5 Million Individuals – Community Health Systems, Inc. (“CHS”) reported this week that the information of approximately 4.5 million individuals has been affected by...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™ - May 2014

Massachusetts to Start from Scratch with Health Insurance Website — Massachusetts plans to abandon its health insurance exchange website in favor of starting over from scratch, according to a New York Times report....more

Two Health Care Organizations Pay Largest HIPAA Fine at $4.8 Million Resulting from Unsecured Shared Network

New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University entered into a settlement with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to resolve allegations that the organizations had violated the...more

New HIPAA Tool Released by the Federal Government – Makes Assessing Risks Easier and It Won’t Cost You a Dime

Do you lie awake at night wondering if you or the health care entity for which you work is complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”)? If so, you will be happy to hear that a good night’s...more

Paying the Price: Physician Group Faces Hefty Penalty and OCR Oversight After Failure to Conduct Security Risk Assessment and...

What you need to know: The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Health & Human Services is continuing its trend toward more aggressive enforcement of HIPAA violations. Small provider entities are not immune...more

Privacy and Security Alert: January 9th, 2014

On December 5, 2013, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported on the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) compliance as of May 2011 with oversight and enforcement of the Security Rule and compliance with federal cybersecurity...more

Medical practice agrees to payment due to HIPAA data breach

One day after Christmas, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced that a Massachusetts-based dermatology practice (Practice) agreed to a $150,000 payment and entered into a...more

HHS Closes Out 2013 with 6th Resolution Agreement

Throughout 2013, HHS OCR has stated that covered entities of all sizes need to give priority to securing ePHI. In addition, HHS OCR has recommended that covered entities identify and mitigate risks before an incident occurs....more

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