Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights

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

Deadline Approaching to Report Certain HIPAA Breaches to Federal Officials

The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule requires covered entities to notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) if a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI) is discovered. As most...more

State Of The Union “Sneak Peek” Highlights Administration Cybersecurity Initiatives

As part of a series of “sneak peeks” announced in advance of the State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 20th, President Obama made remarks last week before the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Homeland...more

Alert: Five Ways to Reduce Your HIPAA Liability

As of early December 2014, 1,170 security breaches under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) involving 31 million records had been reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...more

Blog: Next Round of HIPAA Audits to Begin “Expeditiously”

During a media roundtable held this week, the Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Jocelyn Samuels provided additional information regarding the long awaited next round...more

HIPAA Compliance: Are You Prepared for the 2015 HITECH Act Audits?

In 2015, the United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) will begin enforcing the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health...more

Preparing for HIPAA Compliance Audits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the office responsible for administering and enforcing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), will...more

HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations

In light of the Ebola outbreak and other events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, released a bulletin to ensure HIPAA covered entities are aware of the ways in which patient...more

HHS Issues Special HIPAA Guidance for Ebola Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"), released a bulletin last week addressing how covered entities (including certain health care providers and employer group health...more

Data, Privacy & Security Practice Report – Also in the News: November 2014

Office for Civil Rights Releases HIPAA Bulletin in Light of Ebola Outbreak – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights released a bulletin today reminding HIPAA covered entities and...more

Health Care Providers Responding to Ebola: HHS Issues Guidance Reminding Covered Entities that HIPAA Allows the Sharing of PHI in...

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) has issued guidance to remind HIPAA-covered entities of the ways in which they are permitted under HIPAA to share protected health information...more

HHS: No Sensational News Exception to HIPAA. Health Care Providers Should Plan Now for Dealing with Ebola Publicity

Many people in the general public – and most in the health care industry – would recognize the names Eric Duncan (who died of Ebola in a U.S. hospital), Nina Pham (who contracted Ebola through exposure in a U.S. hospital) and...more

HIPAA in the Time of Ebola

Ebola has recently been the source of much concern, and health care providers and hospitals are taking steps to prepare themselves for the possibility of treating patients with Ebola. In addition to all of the medical...more

Ebola or Not, Patient Privacy Must Be Protected: Office for Civil Rights Issues Bulletin on HIPAA Requirements in Emergency...

In the wake of the recent Ebola cases, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new bulletin reminding HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates that the...more

Government Conference Highlights Need for Protecting Health Information

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently highlighted the importance of protecting health information at the...more

OCR Issues Guidance Relating to Same-Sex Marriages

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights recently published guidance to assist covered entities by explaining how the United States Supreme Court's decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act...more

Cliff Notes from the Joint OCR/NIST HIPAA Security Conference

As a service to our readers, we have distilled last week’s joint HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and National Institute of Standards in Technology (NIST) conference, “Safeguarding Health Information: Building Assurance...more

Blog: OCR Rep Discusses HIPAA Violations, Enforcement Actions, and Upcoming Audit Program

Last week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), hosted a conference entitled “Safeguarding Health...more

WEBINAR: Breach, Enforcement and Beyond: HIPAA Breach Notification Analysis and OCR Enforcement Activities

The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Health and Human Services revised the breach notification regulations last year in order to make the analysis of whether a breach occurred more objective. In addition, OCR...more

HIPAA For Lawyers And Law Firms: What you need to know to prevent your law firm from paying MILLION$

For years now lawyers and law firms providing professional services to health care providers or health insurance plans should have had in place essential safeguards to meet the responsibilities and requirements as business...more

Are your HIPAA ducks in a row? The next round of OCR HIPAA audits is approaching

In 2011 the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) established the HIPAA Pilot Audit Program to ensure compliance with HIPAA’s privacy, security and breach notification rules. The first...more

HIPAA Violations Will Soon Be More Expensive

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intends to use higher fines and a new round of audits to send a strong message to the healthcare industry about complying with the Health Insurance Portability and...more

HIPAA Violation Results in $4.8 Million Settlement

While most healthcare providers know to pay close attention to the HIPAA rules when setting up their information technology systems, recent events have demonstrated that this close scrutiny should also be applied to computer...more

New HIPAA Reports to Congress Shed Light on OCR Enforcement

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued two reports to Congress, as required by the HITECH Act. The compliance report details OCR’s enforcement activities for 2011 and 2012 and...more

Health System Pays $800,000 Fine for Leaving PHI in Doctor’s Driveway

While enforcement activity by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has focused primarily on a covered entity’s safeguard of electronic protected health information (ePHI),...more

HHS Reports to Congress highlight HIPAA Compliance and Breach Activities

On June 11, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued two reports to Congress summarizing activities in calendar years 2011 and 2012. The Annual Report to Congress on...more

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