Office of Civil Rights

News & Analysis as of

Be Careful with Information Destruction: Another Medical Record Disposal HIPAA Settlement

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently announced a new settlement with a small pharmacy, Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (“Cornell”). OCR alleged that Cornell was disposing of...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

OCR Issues New Title IX Guidance to Educational Institutions and Title IX Coordinators

On Friday, April 24, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued three important communications that reemphasize the importance under Title IX of designating, training and supporting Title IX...more

Office for Civil Rights Issues New Guidance on Title IX

On April 24, 2015, the United Stated Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued a Dear Colleague Letter (“DCL”) regarding Title IX Coordinators and a new Title IX Resource Guide....more

Title IX Coordinators: Review Of New Guidance From The Department Of Education

On April 24, 2015, the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published a new Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) and a letter directly to Title IX Coordinators, as well as a new 25-page Title IX Resource Guide. These...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

U.S. Department of Education Releases New Title IX Guidance

On April 24, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a guidance package that reminds educational institutions of their responsibilities under Title IX. This guidance package, issued...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

Justice Department Settlement With edX Suggests Heightened Scrutiny of Online Course Accessibility and Potential Strategies for...

On April 2, the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with edX, a major online college course provider, over alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to the accessibility of...more

NSBA Concerned About Recent Supreme Court Decision’s Impact on OCR Investigations

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) recently expressed its concerns over the Supreme Court’s recent landmark ruling in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, which allows federal agencies to issue “interpretive...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

Health Law Alert: Top 10 Takeaways from Alessandra Swanson & MSBA HIPAA Discussion

On Feb. 13, the Health Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) sponsored an event on HIPAA enforcement in 2015. The MSBA hosted Alessandra Swanson of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health &...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

Seattle Office for Civil Rights Issues Proposed Rules Regarding Minimum Wage Ordinance; Seeks Comments

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights has just released proposed administrative rules for the Minimum Wage Ordinance, which takes effect on April 1, 2015. Once finalized, the rules will guide how the Ordinance is interpreted...more

HIPAA and “Meaningful Use” Audits: Issues to Consider and How to Prepare

As more and more providers adopt electronic health records (“EHRs”) systems (and with new regulations concerning their required use for purposes of Medicare billing for chronic care management, their popularity can only...more

Preparing for Phase 2 HIPAA Audits: It’s All About the Documentation

The launch of Phase 2 HIPAA audits is imminent. Although any individual hospital has only a small chance of getting audited, preparation helps protect a hospital if it is ever investigated for potential HIPAA violations. In...more

Bernstein Shur’s Labor and Employment Practice Group Highlights Legal Issues to Watch in 2015

HIPAA in the Workplace - In late 2013, the Office of Inspector General issued a report critical of the Office of Civil Rights’ enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. OCR enforcement of...more

Pressure Points: OCR Enforcement Activity in 2014

During 2014, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services initiated six enforcement actions in response to security breaches reported by entities covered by the Health Insurance...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Recent Health Care Updates

On January 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its plan to propose changes to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program (EHR Incentive Program). According to CMS, the rule will address...more

OCR Updates Breach Report Web Portal — Changes Could Impact Annual Breach Reports

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently launched an updated version of the portal covered entities must use to notify OCR regarding a breach of unsecured protected health...more

Two Governmental Regulators Highlight Cybersecurity Issues In 2015 Priorities

It is no surprise that numerous government regulators have listed cybersecurity amongst their priorities for 2015. This past week, two of these regulators – the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office for Civil...more

Deadline Approaching to Report Certain HIPAA Breaches to Federal Officials

The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule requires covered entities to notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) if a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI) is discovered. As most...more

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