Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1996 to provide greater protection for individual's medical information and prescribe standards for the... more +
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1996 to provide greater protection for individual's medical information and prescribe standards for the manner in which healthcare professionals gather, use, and maintain health information.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Second CMP Assessed for HIPAA Violations: Do You Know Where Your Data Is?

For only the second time in its history, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has imposed a civil money penalty (CMP) on a covered entity for allegedly violating the HIPAA...more

The WSGR Data Advisor - February 2016

With a new year come exciting new developments in the world of privacy and data protection. We are thrilled to announce the launch of the digital version of The WSGR Data Advisor. Please visit our site for the latest news and...more

Blog: ALJ Upholds OCR Enforcement Against Lincare, Inc. of $239,800

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administrative law judge (ALJ) recently sustained an earlier HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) decision to impose a civil money penalty (CMP) of $239,800 against Lincare...more

FTC’s Proposed Settlement with Dental Practice Software Provider Marks Latest Data Security Action Against a Product Supplier

On January 5, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached an agreement with Henry Schein Practice Solutions, Inc. (“HSPS”) to settle allegations that HSPS misrepresented that its dental practice software provided...more

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

Historic Moment: Husband Reports Wife’s HIPAA Violation Triggering Six Figure Penalty Against Employer

For the second time in history, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has imposed a civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) against a covered entity for violations of the Health Insurance and Portability Act (“HIPAA”). Lincare, Inc., 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

Is your institution of higher education covered by HIPAA?

It comes as no surprise that virtually every postsecondary administrator is familiar with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). After all, FERPA, the primary federal law...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

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Notifying Patients When a Physician Leaves

The University of Rochester Medical Center (“URMC”) recently agreed to pay a $15,000 penalty for providing patient names, addresses, and diagnoses to a departing nurse practitioner (“NP”) without first obtaining authorization...more

2016 HIPAA Audits to Begin: Are you Confident in Your HIPAA Compliance?

Although the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or “HIPAA,” has been around since 1996, with its implementing regulations first published in the early 2000s, it is definitely not “old news.” In light of...more

If You Provide Behavioral Health Services, Do the New HIPAA Reporting Rules Apply to You?

In early January, the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“OCR”) issued new regulations regarding the right of certain HIPAA covered entities to disclose mental health...more

Executive Gun Control Actions Result in HIPAA Modifications

In response to the Obama Administration’s executive actions to reduce gun violence, on January 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a final rule, which modifies the...more

Health Care E-Note - January 2016

The 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule ("Final Rule") contains recent changes to the Federal Stark Law, the majority of which took effect on January 1, 2016. The issuance of the Final Rule on November 16, 2015...more

Four Questions to Ask before Disclosing (or Withholding) PHI in Transaction Due Diligence

HIPAA’s restrictions on the use or disclosure of protected health information (“PHI”) by a covered entity or business associate may be familiar to many in healthcare. Also familiar may be the exception that allows covered...more

FTC Enforcement in Schein: Misleading Statements about Encryption and Cybersecurity

On January 5, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) entered into a consent order with dental software manufacturer Henry Schein Practice Solutions, Inc. ("Schein") in connection with allegations that Schein had made...more

M&A, Cybersecurity Identified as Top Areas for Healthcare General Counsels

A September 2015 Consero survey of general counsels (GCs) from mid-size to large U.S. hospital and health systems provides some interesting insight into the top issues facing legal departments....more

EEOC Denied in Attempt to Apply ADA Rules to Wellness Plan Tied to Group Health Plan

On the last day of 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) in its suit against an employer under the Americans with Disabilities...more

APCDs: One Solution to Obtaining Meaningful Performance Data

The American health care system is under immense pressure to control costs and improve quality. As a result, there is a corresponding need for access to health care data and the development of new methods to obtain value...more

HIPAA Modified in Tandem with Executive Action on Gun Control: Much Ado About Narrow Permissive Reporting Requirements

On January 6, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) within the federal Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued a final rule to modify the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996...more

OCR issues new guidance on individuals’ access to PHI: Is your access policy compliant?

On Jan. 7, 2016, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued new guidance (Guidance) on the right of individuals under the HIPAA Privacy Rule to access their protected health information (PHI). In the Guidance, the OCR indicated...more

FCC Responds In Consolidated Appeal From Its July 2015 Omnibus Ruling

On Friday, January 15, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission filed its response to the arguments of the joint Petitioners in the consolidated appeal from its July 10, 2015 Omnibus Ruling. The Commission’s brief...more

Making it easier to get your own medical records

Getting a copy of your own medical records is supposed to be easy and inexpensive. It also can be essential for ensuring the best medical care. But many hospitals and doctors have made it difficult and pricey, and the federal...more

Henry Schein Settles FTC Charges of Deceptive Advertising of Dentrix G5

Data encrypted in accordance with the Advanced Encryption Standard (“AES”) gives dentists a “safe harbor” in the event of certain breaches of patient information. However, those relying on Henry Schein’s Dentrix G5 software...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

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