Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Office of Civil Rights

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 -
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Free HIPAA Help

Health care providers, health plans, business associates, and other entities affected by the federal HIPAA privacy and security regulations are quickly running out of excuses for not having a robust HIPAA compliance program...more

OCR Releases Information on What Phase 2 HIPAA Audits Will Look Like

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently presented information about the new look of its Phase 2 audit program. The new audits will look little like the old ones, with OCR conducting the audits itself and focusing on...more

New Round of HIPAA Audits To Begin Later This Year

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced it will resume its HIPAA compliance audit program — launched as a pilot program in 2012 — on a permanent basis in 2014. In...more

Hot Off the Press: Tool to Help Providers Conduct Security Risk Assessments

What’s Happening? The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in collaboration with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), recently released a jointly developed tool designed to assist...more

HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool Released by HHS

HIPAA security risk assessment (SRA) tool was recently made available through HHS. The tool was developed as a collaborative effort between the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC),...more

OCR Clarifies Permitted Disclosures, Including Mental Health Care

The disclosure of mental health records and other disclosure-related issues tends to be less than clear for providers in their efforts to comply with the federal privacy rules. Such issues relate to appropriate disclosures to...more

OCR to Resume HIPAA Audits. Get Ready Now!

In a Feb. 24 notice in the Federal Register, the HHS's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced its intention to resume its HIPAA Audit Program. By and large, the audit program has been inactive since December 2012, when OCR...more

Compliance is No Joke: OCR Releases Security Risk Assessment Tool

On March 28, 2014, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced the release of an online and iPad app-based security risk assessment (SRA) tool. The tool is intended to help health care providers in small to medium sized...more

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

Government Releases New Tool to Assist with HIPAA Security Rule Risk Assessments

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR), in collaboration with the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Office of General Counsel (OGC), released a new security risk assessment (SRA)...more

OCR Preparing For Next Round of HIPAA Audits

In a February 24, 2014 notice published in the Federal Register, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a pre-audit survey of HIPAA covered entities and business associates. The information collected will...more

Get Ready! HHS OCR Announces Next Round of HIPAA Audits

To combat new risks associated with rapidly evolving health information technology, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act...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

OCR Settles Potential HIPAA Violations with County Government for $215,000

To start 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued its first resolution agreement of the year and its first settlement with a county government – signaling that even local...more

HIPAA Housekeeping - Don't Forget Your Annual Report of Small Breaches

If you are a "covered entity" under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") and suffer a breach of protected health information, one of your first reactions should be to count the number of affected...more

HHS Extends Patient Access To Laboratories

On February 6, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a Final Rule amending regulations implementing the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) and the Health Insurance...more

CMS Finalizes HIPAA and CLIA Amendments Intended to Increase Patient Access to Test Results

Yesterday the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finally published the long-awaited final rule amending the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) and the Health Insurance Portability and...more

Foundations in HIPAA - Building Blocks of Health Law

Recent enforcement actions and the new Omnibus Rule implementing several HITECH obligations highlighted the need for a new look at HIPAA obligations for covered entities and now business associates. HITECH not only raised the...more

Be Prepared – HIPAA Audits are Coming in 2014

Later this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) is expected to launch its permanent HIPAA Audit Program. The HIPAA Audit Program is authorized under Section 13411 of the HITECH Act, and is designed to...more

Health Reform + Related Health Policy News - January 2014, Issue 1

In This Issue: - Top News ..Congress Approves Budget Deal with Short-Term ‘Doc Fix' ..CMS “Two-Midnight” Rule delayed until March 31, 2014 ..Individuals with Canceled Insurance Policies May Apply for...more

FTC and Accretive Health Settle Unfair Business Practice Complaint Centered on Data Security Measures

Accretive Health recently agreed to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint that stems from a July, 2011 incident in which an Accretive employee’s laptop was stolen from his car. As a medical billing and revenue...more

Recent HIPAA Settlement Highlights Danger of Failure to Perform Security Risk Assessments, Implement HIPAA Policies and Train...

A recent Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") settlement, which is notable as the first HIPAA settlement with a covered entity for failure to have policies and procedures in place to comply with...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

Privacy and Security Alert: January 9th, 2014

On December 5, 2013, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported on the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) compliance as of May 2011 with oversight and enforcement of the Security Rule and compliance with federal cybersecurity...more

OCR Proposes HIPAA Amendments to Address Gun Violence

As we previously reported, President Obama has made it a priority to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”). Last week, more than eight months after the issuance of a advance notice of...more

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