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

HHS Issues Final Rule On Nondiscrimination In Health Programs And Activities

On May 18, 2016, the United States Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") issued a Final Rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"), which prohibits...more

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

OCR Releases Video Guidance on Provision of Medical Records

The summer movie season is now officially in full swing, with the release of three informational videos regarding HIPAA and the right of individuals to access their medical records, published by the Office of Civil Rights of...more

Healthcare Lessons Learned From Reality TV

On March 31, 2016, a New York court determined that a lawsuit may proceed against a physician and hospital for breach of physician-patient confidentiality arising from a documentary series about medical trauma, NY Med. The...more

Nondiscrimination Protection Under the Affordable Care Act

On May 16, 2016, the Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued final rules implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). The final rules...more

Health Law Insights Newsletter - Issue 10 - June 2016

McCarter & English, LLP’s Health Care Group presents Issue 10 of the Health Law Insights, which discusses the latest legal issues in the health care industry. NATIONAL - Drug Diversion Case Raises Red Flags for...more

Summary: Final Rule on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) establishes a broad prohibition on discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in health programs and activities. After almost 3 years of...more

OCR Clarifies “Reasonable, Cost-Based” Fee Calculations for Access to Medical Records

By couching its position in an individual’s right to access protected health information (PHI), beginning on January 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance to...more

HHS Issues Final ACA Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities Regulation

In Depth - On Friday, May 13, 2016, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) finalized regulations that provide explicit protections from discrimination on the basis of gender...more

Also In the News - Data, Privacy, & Security Practice Report - May 2016 #2

K&S Client Alert: Third Try Is A Charm: Defend Trade Secrets Act Of 2015 Enacted Into Law—For the third consecutive year, Congress introduced legislation to create a federal civil cause of action for trade secret...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

Also In the News - Data, Privacy, & Security Practice Report - May 2016

OCR Releases Guidance On Data Security Incident Preparedness—On May 3, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released its cyber-awareness monthly update on the topic...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

Lights, Camera, Settlement: OCR says a picture is worth $2.2 million

A New York hospital has settled with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) for $2.2 million after allowing a TV crew for the ABC documentary series “NY Med” to film patients...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

NY Hospital to Pay $2.2 Million for Allowing TV Crew to Videotape Dying Patient

On the ABC television series “NY Med,” doctors from New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) are profiled as they perform medical procedures. However, in an effort to keep it “real,” the show’s crew has landed the hospital in hot...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

Ex-Husband's Revenge Leads to HHS Trophy

Patient care is not confined to a single office or exam room, or a single physician or other provider. Caring for patients these days now includes complex coordination among physicians, nurse, technicians, staff, management,...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

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