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 -
News & Analysis as of

Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best: Why You Must Have a HIPAA Risk Assessment

When the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) auditor drops by your health facility to ensure that you are complying with HIPAA, one thing is for certain: he will be asking to see your Risk Assessment. Do you have one? Is it...more

A New Era of HIPAA Enforcement

Traditionally, HIPAA enforcement is assigned to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR). In November 2013, Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General sharply criticized OCR’s...more

Upcoming HIPAA Audits May Target Financial Institutions—Here’s How to Prepare

Much like a tornado watch, the conditions appear to be right for a coming storm: the upcoming Phase 2 HIPAA audits. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has begun verifying contact...more

Deeper Dive: Healthcare Incidents Involving More Than 500 Individuals Are Investigated 100 Percent of the Time

We have released the inaugural BakerHostetler Data Security Incident Response Report, which provides insights generated from the review of more than 200 incidents that our attorneys advised on in 2014. The report confirms the...more

A Year in Review: Key HIPAA Settlement Agreements by HHS’s Office for Civil Rights

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights had another busy year in 2014. More resolution agreements were signed by HHS and Covered Entities than in the previous year, and several Covered...more

Healthcare Fraud Initiatives in 2015

In order to predict what 2015 will look like in the war against health care fraud, it is necessary to quickly review what happened in 2014. In 2014, the government’s health care fraud prevention and enforcement efforts...more

OCR Launches Phase 2 HIPAA Audit Program with Pre-Audit Screening Surveys

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) covered entities have reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently sent pre-audit screening surveys...more

OCR Announces Settlement and Corrective Action Plan with Pharmacy Stemming from Alleged Violations

On April 24, 2015, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) once again stressed the importance of properly disposing of protected health information (“PHI”) when it announced its settlement and corrective action plan with...more

Pharmacy Settles HIPAA Investigation for $125,000

On April 22, 2015, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) entered into its first HIPAA violation settlement in 2015. The settlement requires Cornell Prescription Pharmacy, a small pharmacy located in the Denver area to pay the OCR...more

Blog: Updated Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Information Released by ONC and OCR

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in collaboration with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released its new updated guidance for the privacy and security of electronic...more

Delays Continue for OCR’s 2015 HIPAA Audits

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) continues to delay implementation of Phase 2 of its HIPAA Audit Program (“Phase 2”), which will build on OCR’s pilot audit program that concluded in...more

OCR Transmits Pre-Audit Screening Surveys to Covered Entities for Phase 2 HIPAA Compliance Audits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently transmitted HIPAA pre-audit screening surveys to covered entities that may be selected for a second phase of HIPAA compliance audits...more

ONC Releases Privacy and Security Guidance Geared Toward Small Providers

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) recently released a new and improved version 2.0 of their Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information. This revamped...more

OCR Enforcement of HIPAA Affects Entities of all Sizes Small Pharmacy Enters into Latest Settlement

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced late last week that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (Cornell) agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996...more

OCR Announces Another HIPAA Settlement and Warns Not to Forget About Paper Records

On April 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (“Cornell Pharmacy”) had entered into a resolution agreement to settle,...more

Meaningful Use Stage 3 Proposed Rule: Security Risk Analysis and Patient Access

Where HIPAA and Meaningful Use intersect, does the newly released Meaningful Use Stage 3 proposed rule provide greater clarity or create more confusion? As discussed in our earlier advisory, the Meaningful Use Stage 3...more

2015 Phase Two HIPAA Audits – Delayed Again

Recently, the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) confirmed that OCR is still working to finalize the procedures for “Phase Two” HIPAA audits. OCR had initially planned to...more

HIPAA Enforcement Remains a Concern for Providers of All Sizes

On Monday, April 27, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") announced a settlement with Cornell Prescription Pharmacy ("Cornell"). Under the Resolution Agreement, Cornell...more

OCR Settles Alleged HIPAA Violations with Small, Single Location Pharmacy for $125,000 – Emphases Importance for Secure Disposal...

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced yesterday a new settlement relating to potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996...more

$125k HIPAA settlement for small, single-location pharmacy

A settlement announced this week by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) reminds us of the importance of properly disposing of paper medical records. OCR and Cornell Prescription...more

Data Breach Nightmare Scenario: News Affiliate Reports Improper Disposal of Patient Information

A tip from a local Denver news outlet lead to a compliance review, investigation and ultimately a resolution agreement between the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) and Denver-based...more

Blog: Colorado Pharmacy Reaches HIPAA Settlement with OCR Following Improper Records Disposal

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy of Denver, Colorado (“Cornell Pharmacy”) has agreed to settle potential violations of...more

HIPAA Enforcement Action, Breaches and Pilot Audits

During the HCCA Compliance on Monday, April 20, 2015, Iliana Peters, Senior Advisor for HIPAA Compliance and Enforcement, HHS Office of Civil Rights, presented “Lessons Learned from Recent HIPAA Enforcement Action, Breaches...more

OCR’s Enforcement of HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules Continues with Robust 2014

With the news of the recent cyber-attack and resulting data breach at health insurance giant Anthem Inc., the buzz around data security and privacy is again high. The Anthem breach serves as a reminder to those entities...more

Office of Civil Rights Delays Phase 2 Audits

The Office of Civil RIghts (“OCR”) recently announced that Phase 2 of the HIPAA audits would be further delayed because the audit portals and project management tools that are needed to initiate the audit process are not...more

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