Office of Civil Rights

News & Analysis as of

Lincare, Inc. ordered to pay civil monetary fines for HIPAA violations

In an unusual scenario, in fact, only the second time in history, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) was successful before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in obtaining an order for the payment of civil monetary fines as a...more

HHS OCR Issues Rule Modifying HIPAA In Effort To Fight Gun Violence

On January 4, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued a rule modifying the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule to expressly...more

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

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

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

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

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

Office for Civil Rights Clarifies That Cost of Attendance "Counts" for Title IX Purposes

Scholarships up to the cost of attendance "count as athletic financial assistance and are subject to the same rules under Title IX as other athletic scholarships," according to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for...more

U.S. Senator Questions Whether U.S. Department of Education Has Overstepped Title IX Authority

Last week, U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, sent a letter to John B. King, Jr., the Acting...more

2015: The Year of Healthcare Data Breaches

The healthcare industry suffered its worst year to date for data breaches in 2015. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), which tracks healthcare breaches that affect 500 or more...more

WEBINAR: Creating Stable Security and Compliance Relationships Between Health Care Organizations and Vendors

The Omnibus Rule implementing the HITECH Act made several changes to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules that profoundly changed the dynamic between health care providers and vendors. In addition, the Breach Notification...more

Those Who Fail to Learn from History Are Doomed to Repeat It

In March 2014, Haight Brown & Bonesteel provided a client advisory for California public school districts concerning Assembly Bill ("AB") 1266 which allowed students to participate in sex- segregated school programs (i.e....more

eAlert -- College Athletics Update: A Self-Assessment of Gender Equity in Athletics

December is here and the semester is wrapping up. In response to our Fall Athletics update, we heard from many of you that your institutions are interested in learning more about strategies for Title IX compliance in...more

The University Of Washington Medicine Agrees To Settlement For Potential HIPAA Violations

The University of Washington Medicine (“UWM”) has agreed to settle the investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) of potential HIPAA violations arising from a...more

University of Washington Medical School pays OCR $750,000 for data breach

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on Monday, December 14, 2014, that it has settled a HIPAA investigation with the University of Washington Medical School involving a data breach in October of 2013....more

Blog: University of Washington Medicine Agrees to Settle Alleged HIPAA Breach

Last week, the University of Washington Medicine (UWM), an affiliated covered entity that includes multiple entities such as the University of Washington Medical Center, agreed to settle alleged violations of the Health...more

Triple-S Management Corporation Will Pay $3.5 Million To Settle Potential HIPAA Violations

On November 30, 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Triple-S Management Corporation had agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle potential violations of...more

Laptop Security Breach Leads to $850,000 HIPAA Settlement Payout

On November 19, 2015, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (“Lahey”) entered into an $850,000 settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) for alleged violations of...more

Office for Civil Rights Names Diane Henson as New Director for Region 1

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has named Diane Henson to serve as the Regional Director for its Region I office, which covers the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New...more

HIPAA and Health Care Data Privacy – 2015 Year in Review

As the year winds down, we look back with a mixture of nostalgia and queasiness on the major Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) events that defined 2015. Incredibly large data breaches became...more

Blog: Lahey Hospital Agrees to Settle Alleged HIPAA Breach

Recently, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (Lahey), a nonprofit teaching hospital located in Massachusetts, agreed to settle alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) by...more

Stolen, Unencrypted Laptop Leads to $850,000 Settlement and Comprehensive Corrective Action Plan for Massachusetts Teaching...

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), has announced a settlement with Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (Lahey) that arose out of a HIPAA breach involving a stolen laptop. The...more

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