Office of Civil Rights

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The Feds Are Watching: Equitable Allocations In School Budgets

It is indisputable that education forms the cornerstone of a productive society. What is frequently disputed, however, is what that cornerstone should cost, and just as every year swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, so...more

HHS Issues Special HIPAA Guidance for Ebola Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"), released a bulletin last week addressing how covered entities (including certain health care providers and employer group health...more

Data, Privacy & Security Practice Report – Also in the News: November 2014

Office for Civil Rights Releases HIPAA Bulletin in Light of Ebola Outbreak – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights released a bulletin today reminding HIPAA covered entities and...more

OCR Publishes Bulletin Regarding Privacy in Light of Ebola Outbreak

In response to the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa and in light of patients being treated in several hospitals in the U.S., the HHS, OCR (OCR) recently issued a HIPAA Bulletin to remind us that HIPAA covered entities and...more

Birmingham Medical News: Are You Ready for the Upcoming HIPAA Compliance Audits?

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights ("OCR") announced its plan for a number of audits regarding compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™

News from the Health Law Gurus™ is a weekly summary of notable health law news from around the country with helpful links to related content. Check back every week for the latest health law news stories. HIPAA in the...more

Health Care Providers Responding to Ebola: HHS Issues Guidance Reminding Covered Entities that HIPAA Allows the Sharing of PHI in...

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) has issued guidance to remind HIPAA-covered entities of the ways in which they are permitted under HIPAA to share protected health information...more

OCR’s New Bulletin on Ensuring Privacy in Public Health Emergencies

This week, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a bulletin (Bulletin) to remind covered entities and business associates that “the protections of the Privacy Rule are not set aside during an emergency.” The...more

HHS: No Sensational News Exception to HIPAA. Health Care Providers Should Plan Now for Dealing with Ebola Publicity

Many people in the general public – and most in the health care industry – would recognize the names Eric Duncan (who died of Ebola in a U.S. hospital), Nina Pham (who contracted Ebola through exposure in a U.S. hospital) and...more

HIPAA in the Time of Ebola

Ebola has recently been the source of much concern, and health care providers and hospitals are taking steps to prepare themselves for the possibility of treating patients with Ebola. In addition to all of the medical...more

Ebola or Not, Patient Privacy Must Be Protected: Office for Civil Rights Issues Bulletin on HIPAA Requirements in Emergency...

In the wake of the recent Ebola cases, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new bulletin reminding HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates that the...more

Government Conference Highlights Need for Protecting Health Information

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently highlighted the importance of protecting health information at the...more

Clery Act Changes Published; OCR Resolves Transgender Complaint

Today, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) published in the Federal Register the final rule implementing changes to the Clery Act under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). In another recent...more

OCR Issues Guidance on Application of HIPAA Privacy Rule after Windsor

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor prompted many businesses to review and revise their employee benefit plans. However, the...more

Department of Education Issues New Guidance on Race and “Resource Comparability”

Yesterday, the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued a 37-page guidance document on “Resource Comparability” and unequal distribution of education resources along racial or ethic lines in...more

OCR Issues Guidance Relating to Same-Sex Marriages

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights recently published guidance to assist covered entities by explaining how the United States Supreme Court's decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act...more

Starting Oct. 6, Patients Can Access Test Reports Directly From Clinical Laboratories

On Oct. 6, 2014, a final rule issued jointly by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will require all HIPAA-covered labs...more

Cliff Notes from the Joint OCR/NIST HIPAA Security Conference

As a service to our readers, we have distilled last week’s joint HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and National Institute of Standards in Technology (NIST) conference, “Safeguarding Health Information: Building Assurance...more

Blog: OCR Rep Discusses HIPAA Violations, Enforcement Actions, and Upcoming Audit Program

Last week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), hosted a conference entitled “Safeguarding Health...more

“LoProCo”, 12,915 Complaints, and Other Lessons from OCR/NIST

12,915 complaints were reported in 2013 to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) according to Illiana L. Peters, Senior Adviser for HIPAA Compliance and Enforcement. Cozen O’Connor...more

OCR Issues Guidance on HIPAA and Same-Sex Marriage

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released guidance last Wednesday to help covered entities and business associates understand the privacy implications of the 2013...more

Privacy Tuesday – September 2014

Happy autumnal equinox Home Depot Breach – By the Numbers: - 56 million cards at risk (compare to Target = 40 million) - $62 million in estimated costs (compare to Target =$146 million and...more

WEBINAR: Breach, Enforcement and Beyond: HIPAA Breach Notification Analysis and OCR Enforcement Activities

The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Health and Human Services revised the breach notification regulations last year in order to make the analysis of whether a breach occurred more objective. In addition, OCR...more

OCR Reveals Information about Upcoming HIPAA Audits

At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (“HIMSS”) Privacy and Security Forum this week, health information privacy senior advisor for the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) Linda Sanches revealed certain...more

CFTC Staff Issues Relief from Ownership and Control Reporting Rules

The conditional, time-limited no-action letter extends certain compliance deadlines under the new rules. On November 18, 2013, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) published final rules on Ownership and...more

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