Health Care Providers Office of Civil Rights

News & Analysis as of

OCR Alerts Listservs About Fake Phishing Email to Covered Entities and Business Associates

On November 28, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued an Alert to its listservs that a phishing email is being circulated on “mock HHS Departmental letterhead under the signature of OCR”s Director, Jocelyn Samuels”...more

Beware of Phishing Email Disguised as Official OCR Audit Communication

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

OCR Stresses Importance of Authentication in Newsletter

In a recent newsletter, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) encourages health care organizations to review their procedures around authentication and “ensure that they have the appropriate safeguards in place.”...more

OCR Guidance Underscores Importance of Authentication under HIPAA

In its tenth OCR Cyber Awareness Newsletter of the year (Newsletter), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reminded HIPAA-covered entities and business associates of the importance of selecting an appropriate authentication...more

OCR Reminds Companies that Authentication is Key

In non-election news, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services recently released its November Cyber Awareness Newsletter. This month’s newsletter focuses on the topic of...more

HIPAA Audits – Phase 2: On-Site Audits Scheduled for First Quarter of 2017

Covered Entities and Business Associates may be ringing in the New Year with the prospect of responding to on-site HIPAA audits by federal regulators. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights...more

Health Care Group News: Section 1557's Nondiscrimination Mandates

Physicians and other health care providers receiving federal funding, including Medicaid but excluding Medicare Part B, are subject to new regulatory requirements implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act...more

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

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

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

Restrictions on Fees Permitted Under HIPAA for Copies of Medical Records

When health care providers provide copies of medical records to an individual patient or to third parties at the direction of that individual patient, they are permitted under HIPAA to recover “a reasonable, cost-based fee.”...more

Health Care System’s HIPAA Security Risk Results in $2.14 Million Fine

On October 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced that St. Joseph Health (SJH) agreed to settle allegations relating to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules,...more

St. Joseph Health Settles with OCR for $2.14 Million

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced that it has entered into a settlement with St. Joseph Health, which operates hospitals and nursing homes in California, Texas and New Mexico, for $2.14 million for alleged HIPAA...more

Failure Under the HIPAA Security Rule Costs $2.14 Million

On October 18, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced a $2.14 million settlement with St. Joseph Health (“St. Joseph”), a non-profit integrated Catholic healthcare delivery...more

What Physician Practices and Other Healthcare Providers Need to Know About the Posting and Grievance Obligations Set Forth in the...

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Recently, the Federal Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued a Final Rule clarifying...more

Health Law Insights Newsletter - Issue 13

McCarter & English, LLP’s Health Care Group presents Issue 13 of the Health Law Insights, which discusses the latest legal issues in the health care industry. - Failure to Update Business Associate Agreement Results in...more

New Non-Discrimination Notice Requirements Go Into Effect October 17, 2016

In May of this year, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized its rulemaking implementing certain non-discrimination requirements under Section 1557 of the Affordable...more

Countdown to Compliance for Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

If you are an entity covered by Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 1557), you have less than a week to prepare your non-discrimination notices and taglines. The final rule implementing...more

Providing Transgender-Inclusive Health Care

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has issued a final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of...more

OCR Releases HIPAA Guidance on Cloud Computing

On October 6, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released HIPAA guidance on cloud computing (Guidance). The Guidance is intended to help covered entities and business associates...more

Healthcare Legal News: Volume 6, Number 2

Restrictions on Fees Permitted under HIPAA for Copies of Medical Records - When health care providers provide copies of medical records to an individual patient or to third parties at the direction of that individual...more

GAO Study Slams HHS For Lack of Guidance to Covered Entities

We watch closely for any guidance to HIPAA covered entities and business associates from the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS/OCR). Why? Because there is so little of it. Lately, the only...more

Healthcare Providers Must Post Nondiscrimination Notice by Oct. 16

By October 16, 2016, healthcare providers and other covered entities must publish and disseminate nondiscrimination notices, including disclosures that they provide language assistance services for individuals with limited...more

Small-Breach Focus Shows Growing Scope Of HIPAA Probes

Flexing yet more enforcement muscle under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, on Aug. 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights announced that it will more widely...more

Taking Measure of HIPAA Enforcement

Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the largest settlement to date for alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)....more

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