News & Analysis as of

Electronic Medical Records Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Protected Health Information

OCR Settles With Texas Health System for $2.4 Million for Disclosing PHI to Media In a Press Release

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a press release today announcing that it has settled alleged HIPAA violations with Memorial Hermann Health System (MHHS) for $2.4 million. According to the Resolution Agreement it has...more

$2.5 Million Settlement Shows That Not Understanding HIPAA Requirements Creates Risk

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

In one of the best examples we have ever seen that it pays to be HIPAA compliant (and can cost A LOT when you are not), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, issued the following press...more

A $31,000 Mistake: Failing To Manage Business Associate Agreements Proves Costly For Providers

The Center for Children’s Digestive Health (CCDH), a small, for-profit pediatric subspecialty practice that operates seven clinics in the Chicago area, has paid the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for...more

Healthcare Advisory: HHS Announces First Settlement with a Wireless Health Services Provider

by Sherman & Howard L.L.C. on

On April 24, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”), announced its first settlement with a wireless health services provider, CardioNet, Inc., for alleged violations of the Health...more

March Sees an Uptick in Health Data Breaches

The monthly breach report issued by Protenus last week outlining data breaches that occurred in the month of March concludes that there was an “uptick in the number of health data breach incidents.”...more

$400,000 Settlement Highlights Need for Pre- and Post-Breach Safeguards

by Dickinson Wright on

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), has announced another Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) settlement. This one is with Metro Community Provider...more

Erie County Medical Center IT Systems Shut Down By Virus

Buffalo, New York Erie County Medical Center has announced that its IT system has been shut down since Sunday, April 11, 2017, due to an unnamed virus. The shut-down has affected the medical facility’s email system,...more

Telecommuting Healthcare Employees Get Employers in HIPAA Compliance Hot Water

by Dickinson Wright on

As the healthcare industry has expanded to providing home healthcare services, more service providers are allowing their employees to work remotely, i.e., telecommuting. The flexibility for healthcare workers to work from...more

HIPAA Guidance Issued on Man-In-The-Middle Attacks

by McGuireWoods LLP on

Last week, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance on securing end-to-end communications for sensitive information transmitted between parties over the internet. The OCR warns against “man-in-the-middle” (MITM)...more

HIPAA Checkup – How Good Are Your Policies and Procedures?

by Snell & Wilmer on

Although it is not a new requirement, it is important and therefore worth a reminder: HIPAA requires covered entities to establish and implement written policies and procedures that are consistent with its Privacy and...more

Horizon BCBS of New Jersey Pays State $1.1 million for HIPAA violations

We often forget that state AG’s have jurisdiction under the HIPAA Omnibus Rule to levy fines and penalties against HIPAA covered entities for violations. This is because the Office for Civil Rights has traditionally taken the...more

Lessons Gleaned From Recent HIPAA Settlements: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: How Recent OCR Enforcement...

by McGuireWoods LLP on

HIPAA enforcement has been on the rise during the last several years, and the dollar impact of those settlements has continued to grow significantly. The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR)...more

Hospital pays $3.2M Resulting from HIPAA Security Rule Noncompliance

by Saul Ewing LLP on

In one of the last health care related acts of President Obama’s administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), imposed a multimillion-dollar HIPAA civil money penalty (CMP)...more

Lack of Timely Action and Knowledge of Risk Results in $3.2 Million Civil Monetary Penalty for HIPAA Violations

Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (Children’s) was hit with a $3.2 million civil penalty from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for failing to take steps to properly protect...more

Children’s Medical Center of Dallas Clobbered by OCR

In a rare move by the OCR, it assessed a $3.2 million fine against Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (Children’s) after it issued a Notice of Proposed Determination against Children’s and Children’s failed to request a...more

Data Breach Class Action Reinstated Against Horizon Healthcare Services Inc.

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has vacated a district court's dismissal of a data breach class action filed against Horizon Healthcare Services Inc., in the wake of the 2013 theft of two computer laptops...more

New Hampshire Psychiatric Hospital Patient Records Posted Online by Former Patient

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has notified up to 15,000 patients of its psychiatric hospital (New Hampshire Hospital) that their names, addresses, Social Security numbers, Medicaid ID numbers and...more

2017 Health Information Privacy and Security New Year’s Resolutions

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

To start off the New Year, here are some potential health information privacy and security resolutions. You can use these Annual, Quarterly, and Monthly lists to map out your privacy and security tasks for the year, and then...more

21st Century Cures Act Includes Prohibition on Information Blocking and Mandates for Additional HIPAA Guidance

On November 30, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives voted strongly in favor of the 21st Century Cures Act (the Act), an expansive health bill that addresses the discovery and development of new medical therapies as well...more

OCR Examines Hybrid Entity Designation in Latest HIPAA Settlement

by Baker Donelson on

On November 22, 2016, the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) agreed to pay $650,000 and enter into a corrective action plan to settle allegations that it violated the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules in connection...more

Beware of Phishing Email Disguised as Official OCR Audit Communication

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has posted an alert (and a follow-up alert) warning health plans, health care providers, and their vendors of a mock communication...more

HIPAA Settlement Emphasizes Importance of Accurate Hybrid Entity Designations

by Saul Ewing LLP on

On November 22, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced that University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMA) agreed to settle allegations relating to the HIPAA Privacy...more

Cloud Service Providers Beware, You May Be Subject to HIPAA Without Knowing It

by BakerHostetler on

The use of cloud service providers has exploded in the past several years. According to estimates from Gartner, the market for cloud services is expected to reach $204 billion in 2016. But the use of cloud service providers...more

HHS Designates Cloud Service Providers as Business Associates Under HIPAA

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

Cloud service providers that process electronic protected health information (ePHI) are business associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), even if the PHI is encrypted and the...more

Confusing Joint Guidance published by OCR and FTC on HIPAA Authorization Forms

There are arguments that there is a dearth of guidance by both the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), so when guidance comes out, we listen. But the most recent guidance jointly issued by the...more

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