Dept. of Health and Human Services Business Associates

The United States Department of Health and Human Services is a federal executive department established in 1953, as part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The Agency became independent in 1980... more +
The United States Department of Health and Human Services is a federal executive department established in 1953, as part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The Agency became independent in 1980 and was renamed The Department of Health and Human Services at that time. HHS is charged with protecting and improving the health of the American population, as well as providing essential services.    less -
News & Analysis as of

HIPAA Enforcement on the Rise

After a number of years of little HIPAA enforcement activity, the tides appear to be turning. From September 2015 through April 2016, HIPAA settlements have averaged more than one a month. The dollar amounts involved are...more

HHS Issues HIPAA Guidance for Mobile Health Apps

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued guidance to help mobile application developers analyze whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) may apply to them....more

HHS Releases HIPAA Privacy and Security Audit Guidelines as it Starts its Second Round of Audits and Continues Enforcement Efforts

During April 2016 the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) posted lengthy audit guidelines for HIPAA Privacy and Security on its website (over 400 pages). As HHS starts its audits of health care providers, health...more

Check Your Inbox: OCR Continues to Verify Entity Contact Information for Phase 2 HIPAA Audits

Covered Entities need to continue to check their inboxes for emails from the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) requesting verification of contact information in connection with Phase 2 of the HIPAA Audit Program. OCR...more

Coming Soon to Your Inbox! Phase 2 of OCR's Audit Program for HIPAA Compliance

On March 21, 2016, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it was ready to begin Phase 2 of its audit program for HIPAA compliance, which will include auditing...more

Health Law Wire: Recent HIPAA Settlements Highlight the Importance of Business Associate Agreements (5/16)

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services that enforces the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, recently sent a clear message about the importance of business...more

Settlements reached for PHI Disclosures

In the last two months, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced two settlement agreements involving the disclosure of protected health information ("PHI"). In both instances, the health care...more

Two Additional HIPAA Settlements Demonstrate Breadth of HIPAA Enforcement Activity

During the week of April 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced two significant settlements with a large New York City hospital and a North Carolina orthopaedic...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

Not a Check-the-Box Exercise: Failure to Have Signed BAA Results in Substantial Fine

A group practice that was the victim of a silver-harvesting scam has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) $750,000 to settle charges that it released protected health information (“PHI”) of...more

The Audit Protocol is Released, and Other Updated HIPAA Audits News

As we previously reported, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launched Phase II of its audit program on March 21. Since that time, a significant amount of new information has emerged, including details regarding the...more

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Advisory: So You Heard About HIPAA Phase 2 Audits. What Should You Do Now?

As you may have recently read (for example, “HHS/OCR Announces Launch of HIPAA Audit Program Phase 2”), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has started “Phase 2” of its audit...more

Digital Health Care Alert: Is Your Health Care App subject to HIPAA? The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for...

OCR’s Compliance Guidance for Health Care App Developers - The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently provided guidance (in the form of six “real-life” scenarios) to help...more

How Recent Cybersecurity Government Publications Impact HIPAA Security Compliance and the New Audit Initiative

Cybersecurity Impacts on HIPAA Security Compliance and the New Audit Initiative - New Audit Initiative Items to Watch - While The HHS Office for Civil Rights recently announced its intent to perform a second...more

Phase 2 of HIPAA Audit Program Launched

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced on March 21, 2016 that it has officially launched Phase 2 of its Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act...more

HHS OCR Announces Launch Of Long-Awaited Phase 2 HIPAA Audit Program

On March 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced the launch of its Phase 2 HIPAA compliance audits pursuant to which it will audit covered entities and...more

HHS Implements HIPAA Phase II Audit Program: What You Need to Know

Recently, the Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights announced that it has implemented its HIPAA Phase II Audit Program. Some entities may have already received initial emails from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR)...more

HHS OCR Launches Phase 2 of HIPAA Audit Program–So What?

You have seen all the hysterical headlines — “The HIPAA audits are coming, the HIPAA audits are coming….” But when you really think about it, what is the big deal? If you are a HIPAA covered entity, you surely know by now...more

OCR Launches Phase 2 of HIPAA Audits

Five suggested steps healthcare organizations and their contractors should take to prepare. On March 21, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services launched Phase 2 of the HIPAA Audit...more

Ready or Not, It’s Time For Phase 2 HIPAA Audits

On March 21st, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) officially launched Phase 2 of the HIPAA Audit Program. Covered Entities and Business Associates need to be prepared for these audits and be on the lookout for emails...more

HHS releases HIPAA guidance on care coordination and case management

In its third release of HIPAA guidance over the past few weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released“The Real HIPAA: Care Coordination, Care Planning, and Case Management Examples” to assist covered...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

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

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