Dept. of Health and Human Services Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

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

Latest OCR Enforcement Action: Underbed Storage is Not Appropriate for PHI

Recent enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) have highlighted that, not surprisingly, Covered Entities should not leave medical records in a...more

HHS Publishes Guidance on Patient Access to Records under HIPAA

On January 7, 2016 the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released a fact sheet and a series of frequently asked questions to help to clarify an individual’s right to access and obtain a copy of his or her health...more

Clearing Up Confusion Over the Modified HIPAA Privacy Rule

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which will go into effect on February 5, 2016. HHS published the final rule in tandem with...more

HHS Removes Barriers to Reporting Federal Mental Health Prohibitor Status for Gun Background Checks

On January 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a modification to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) removing barriers to reporting federal mental health...more

A&B Healthcare Week in Review - January 2016

On January 5, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received for review a final rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) entitled Covered Outpatient Drugs (CMS-2345-F). The rule had previously...more

New HIPAA Privacy Rule Permits Disclosures to Background Check System

On January 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule amending the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to strengthen the current background check...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: The Senate and House pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act but without enough votes to override a potential veto... However, this is the first time repeal legislation makes it to the President’s...more

Gun Control and HIPAA

In the wake of recent gun violence and in a concerted effort to protect public safety, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a final rule published in the Federal Register January 6, 2016, that modifies...more

HIPAA Privacy Regulations Amended to Allow Disclosures of Mental Health Information for Firearm Background Checks

On January 4, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) modified the HIPAA Privacy Rule to expressly permit certain covered entities to disclose to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)...more

Health Provisions in the Omnibus Appropriations: Cybersecurity in the Healthcare Industry

The omnibus appropriations legislation that Congress passed last week contained a variety of health-related provisions. These provisions include rescinding funding for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB),...more

Highlights From The 2016 OIG Work Plan

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released its Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2016. The annual work plan can provide valuable insights into the OIG’s planned areas of...more

Health Care: HIPAA Covered Entities - Your Organization’s Liability after a Cyber-Attack (12/15)

It is difficult for companies to manage the rapidly evolving legal landscape of cybersecurity. All companies, no matter the size, are potential targets for a cyber-attack. A common question posed by concerned In-House...more

Confusion Continues Over Medical Identity Theft Victim Rights under HIPAA

In a Nov. 10, 2015 letter, the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Committee on Finance raised concerns with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services...more

Privacy and Security: Highlights from the HHS Inspector General’s 2016 Work Plan

On November 2, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2016 (2016 Work Plan), which describes the OIG’s investigative focus for...more

Are Attorneys Entitled to “HIPAA Rate”?

Over the past year, numerous lawsuits and complaints to the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) have been filed by plaintiffs’ attorneys over a seemingly obscure HIPAA issue – the rate that health care providers and their...more

New Affordable Care Act FAQs Provide Guidance on Preventive Services, Wellness Programs and Mental Health Parity

On October 23, 2015, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury (the “Agencies”) jointly released their twenty-ninth (XXIX) set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Affordable Care Act (ACA)...more

Blog: OIG Releases FY2016 Work Plan: Areas to be Reviewed Include SNFs, Drug Pricing, HIPAA

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released this week its FY2016 Work Plan (Work Plan). The OIG Work Plan summarizes new and ongoing OIG reviews of various HHS programs and...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

OCR Audits to Begin in 2016

Beginning in 2016, the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will conduct another round of audits to gauge compliance with privacy provisions in the Health Insurance Portability...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

OCR Announces HIPAA Security Settlement with Cancer Care Group, P.C.

In September, 2015, OCR and HHS issued a press release announcing a Resolution Agreement with the Cancer Care Group, P.C., which included entry into the agreement, the adoption of a robust compliance plan, and the payment of...more

More Data Vulnerabilities, Cyber Breaches Detected in Healthcare Exchanges

Government audits continue to reveal that millions of people’s personally identifiable information is at risk. Continuous audit reports by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of The Department of Health and Human...more

OCR Launches Platform for Developer HIPAA Questions

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released a new platform to provide mobile health developers (and any other interested stakeholders) a sounding board to ask questions, voice concerns, and “spitball” ideas about HIPAA...more

Alphabet Soup and Data Security

In the span of two days, mobile device users learned of two data breaches that could compromise their personal data. In one, Experian (a credit reporting agency) reported that it was hacked, potentially putting 15 million...more

OCR portal designed for medical mobile app developers

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services has launched a web based portal so medical mobile app developers can ask their “burning” questions about HIPAA compliance....more

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