Dept. of Health and Human Services Data Breach

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 -
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HHS's New Security Risk Tool for HIPAA Compliance

On March 28, 2014, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in conjunction with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), released a Security Risk Assessment tool (SRA tool) to assist...more

Counties Beware – Your Governmental Status Does Not Protect You from Liability for a HIPAA Breach

As a county government, you may think that you have the protection of sovereign immunity and protection from other governments penalizing you. Your status does not protect you. The Department of Health and Human Services...more

Health Care Law Alert: Skagit County Fined $215,000 for HIPAA Violations

Skagit County in northwest Washington state has been fined $215,000 for violations of the HIPAA privacy, security, and breach notification rules. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights...more

35 Days And Counting - R.I.P. Windows XP

Effective April 9, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support or security updates for the Windows XP operating system. According to Microsoft, personal computers running Windows XP after April 8, 2014 should not...more

Health Care Entity Pays $150,000 to HHS as a Result of Stolen Thumb Drive Containing PHI

Encrypting USB drives, analyzing security risks, and implementing breach notification policies and procedures could mean the difference between compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”)...more

Data Breach Wall of Shame: 2013's Highlights and Lessons

Since 2009, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has posted all large data breaches – those that involve 500 or more individuals – online on its so-called “Wall of Shame.” In 2013, 160 large data breaches were reported to...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

HHS Announces First HIPAA Settlement Based on Lack of Breach Notification Policies and Procedures

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced the first settlement under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) based on violations of the law's privacy, security,...more

Looking At The Past To Predict The Future Of HIPAA/HITECH Enforcement

2013 was a busy year for the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”). On January 17, 2013, HHS issued its Final Omnibus Rule, substantially modifying the Privacy, Security and Enforcement Rules promulgated by the...more

Settlement Reached Regarding Dermatology Practice’s HIPAA Violation

Adult and Pediatric Dermatology (A&P Dermatology) of Concord, Massachusetts has entered into a resolution agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance...more

Providers: Prepare Your Breach Notification Policy!

On December 26, 2013, Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, a dermatology practice located in Massachusetts, agreed to pay a $150,000 fine after it lost an unencrypted thumb drive containing over 2,000 patients’ health records, and...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

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Imposes $1.2 Million Penalty For Protected Health Information Breach Involving Leased...

Covered entities should examine their procedures to evaluate and safeguard protected health information (“PHI”) that may be stored on leased photocopiers and other office equipment. Under a settlement with the U.S. Department...more

PHI On Photocopier Hard Drives… Is Your Organization At Risk?

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced yet another HIPAA settlement for more than $1 million. Affinity Health Plan must pay $1,215,780 for returning multiple photocopiers to its leasing...more

$1.2 Million Settlement Agreement Announced for HIPAA Charges Involving Leased Photocopiers

The Department of Health and Human Services announced on August 14, 2013, that it entered into a settlement agreement with Affinity Health Plan, Inc. (Affinity) resolving allegations that Affinity violated the Health...more

Health plan pays for failing to erase data on leased equipment: two takeaways for companies handling electronic PHI

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced a settlement between the US Department of Health and Human Services and Affinity Health Plan, Inc. to address potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and...more

Breach Notification: New Rules!

If you sponsor a group health plan that is subject to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, it is time to review and revise your policies and procedures and re-train your employees regarding the proper procedures when...more

WellPoint, Inc. Reaches $1.7 Million Dollar HIPAA Settlement Continuing the 2012 Trend of Heavy Fines

On July 11, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it had reached a $1.7 million dollar resolution agreement with insurer WellPoint Inc., following a security breach that left the personal...more

HIPAA security violations result in $1.7 million settlement

On July 8, 2013, WellPoint, Inc., a managed care company (“WellPoint”), agreed to pay a $1.7 million fine to settle a self-reported breach of HIPAA, a key federal health privacy law, that led to the unauthorized disclosure of...more

In $1.7M WellPoint Settlement, HHS Warns Covered Entities on Change Management

On July 8, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) entered into a $1.7 million resolution agreement with WellPoint over a 2009-2010 security breach....more

First HIPAA Resolution Agreement of 2013 — and it certainly will not be the last

The HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced its first HIPAA Resolution Agreement of 2013 last week. According to the press release, Idaho State University (ISU) must pay OCR $400,000 and comply with the terms of a...more

Final HIPAA Regulations Impact Group Health Plans

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) sets forth rules to protect the privacy and security of individuals’ health information that is held by “covered entities,” such as group health plans....more

The HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule—Data Privacy and Security Implications for Business Associates and Covered Entities

On January 17, 2013, the Office for Civil Rights (‘‘OCR’’) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (‘‘HHS’’) published the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule (‘‘Final Rule’’) which OCR has trumpeted as carrying ‘‘the most...more

HIPAA’S FINAL RULE: Putting Things in Perspective – Comments from OCR

On March 22, 2013, Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) Director Leon Rodriguez presented the keynote address to attendees of the American Health Lawyers’ Association HIPAA/HITECH Conference in...more

What We Need to Do to Comply with the Final HIPAA Rule: A Summary of the Privacy Obligations for Health Care Providers, Health...

On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the highly anticipated Omnibus Rule, which makes extensive changes (as promulgated by the Health Information Technology for Economic and...more

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