Office of Civil Rights

News & Analysis as of

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

Federal Government Issues Guidance to Schools on Title IX and Transgender Students

In a move that made headlines across the country, two federal government agencies issued a significant guidance document last week interpreting Title IX's requirements for protecting transgender students' rights....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

Federal Government Provides Schools New Guidance Regarding Transgender Students

Two divisions of the federal government have weighed in on the recent legal controversies surrounding accommodations for transgender students. The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S....more

Recent Settlements and Upcoming Audits Highlight the Continuing Need to Focus on Core HIPAA Compliance Measures

Recent settlements and initiatives conducted by the Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlight the continuing need for focus on compliance with the privacy and security...more

Department of Justice and Office of Civil Rights Issue Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students

On Friday, May 13, 2016, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released joint guidance entitled Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students (“Guidance”). This guidance is provided pursuant to the Departments’...more

What's New with HIPAA?

A number of new developments have taken place related to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security compliance, and enforcement is increasing. Healthcare providers, health plans and other...more

Legal Update: 5/13/16 OCR "Dear Colleague" Letter Regarding Title IX -Transgender Students

As a follow-up to prior updates regarding transgender students’ rights, on May 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a “Dear Colleague” letter regarding LEA’s Title IX obligations for...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

Key Data Privacy and Security Concerns for Investment Firms

Privacy and data security concerns are among the most critical issues facing investment funds, advisors and managers (collectively, “investment firms”). This article outlines the privacy and data security challenges...more

OCR Investigating Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has reportedly opened as many as 350 recent nationwide complaint investigations into whether educational agencies’ websites are accessible to individuals with...more

OCR Updates HIPAA Audit Protocol for Phase 2

Recently, the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) provided an updated protocol that it will use when assessing compliance with HIPAA rules. OCR recently began Phase 2 of its HIPAA compliance audits, extending coverage of these...more

Expansion of HIPAA audit program now underway

As detailed in our latest webinar, “Daunting but doable: Preparing for the next round of HIPAA audits,” the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has begun implementing the first full-phase HIPAA audit program. The 2009 HITECH Act,...more

HIPAA Phase 2 Audits: Actions Not Just Words

Action Item: With the commencement of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Phase 2 audits, and the increase in HIPAA enforcement activity, covered entities and business associates need to take HIPAA...more

Fourth Circuit Decides Case on Transgender Students’ Rights

On April 19, 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision addressing transgender and gender nonconforming students. In G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board the Fourth Court was presented with the question of...more

Phase 2 of the OCR HIPAA Audit Program Already Underway

On March 21, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the launch of the long-awaited Phase 2 HIPAA Audit Program (Phase 2), and OCR activities related to Phase 2 are already...more

DOJ Civil Rights Division Underscores Risk of Discrimination Claims When Requesting Information from Applicants and Employees for...

On March 31, 2016, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (“DOJ”) issued a technical assistance letter (TAL) that highlights the potential for employers to create discrimination claims inadvertently when requesting...more

OCR Director Discusses Phase 2 Audits, OCR Priorities

A representative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently presented at a compliance forum to provide comments regarding the roll out of OCR’s Phase 2 HIPAA audits. The...more

Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic settles with OCR for $750,000 for lack of business associate agreement

Consistent with the settlement the OCR agreed to with North Memorial Health Care of Minnesota, the Office for Civil Rights has settled its investigation of Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic, P.A. (Raleigh Orthopaedic) for $750,000....more

New HIPAA Phase 2 Audits: Targets Notified by Email Only

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced the long-awaited launch of Phase 2 of its HIPAA Audit Program (Phase 2 Audits). The Phase 2 Audits will review the policies...more

New York Presbyterian Hospital Settles OCR HIPAA Investigation

On April 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced a $2.2 million settlement with The New York and Presbyterian Hospital (“NYP”) regarding NYP’s impermissible...more

Health Update - April 2016 #2

How to Prepare for "Phase Two" HIPAA Compliance Audits: Tips on Getting Ready for Scrutiny - Editor's Note: Now that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that it is beginning the next round of...more

Spring Showers Bring HIPAA Breaches

OCR has announced several recent settlement agreements to resolve violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). These settlement amounts range from $25,000 to $3.9 million dollars and...more

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