Office of Civil Rights

News & Analysis as of

Final Rule Issued on ACA’s Non-Discrimination Provision for Federally Funded Programs

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), in effect since 2010, prohibits discrimination in any federally funded health program on the basis of race, national origin, sex, age, or disability. The Department of Health...more

Higher Education Highlights - Summer 2016

On March 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), announced the launch of the 2016 Phase 2 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Audit...more

OCR Warns of HIPAA Risks in Third-Party Apps

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently issued a warning regarding vulnerabilities in third-party applications used by entities covered by HIPAA. The OCR warning applies...more

Legal Update: School Website Accessibility and Digital Communications Requirements

To ensure compliance under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title II), both of which are enforced by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office for...more

OCR Continues to Emphasize Individuals’ Rights to Access Health Information

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the release of three YouTube videos and an infographic on individuals’ rights to access health information. In...more

Department Of Education Issues Guidance on Improving Gender Equity in Career and Technical Education Programs

On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in conjunction with the Department’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) issued a Dear Colleague Letter (“Letter”)...more

OCR Releases Video Guidance on Provision of Medical Records

The summer movie season is now officially in full swing, with the release of three informational videos regarding HIPAA and the right of individuals to access their medical records, published by the Office of Civil Rights of...more

Healthcare Lessons Learned From Reality TV

On March 31, 2016, a New York court determined that a lawsuit may proceed against a physician and hospital for breach of physician-patient confidentiality arising from a documentary series about medical trauma, NY Med. The...more

Data Security Safeguards Can Help Healthcare Employers Withstand Cyberattacks—and Government Audits

The last couple of years have brought a steady rain of bad news for the healthcare industry when it comes to data security: Insurers faced with massive data breaches affecting thousands of health plans and millions of...more

Health Care E-Note - June 2016

In an effort to review and examine compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its implementing regulations ("HIPAA"), the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil...more

Nondiscrimination Protection Under the Affordable Care Act

On May 16, 2016, the Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued final rules implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). The final rules...more

Health Law Insights Newsletter - Issue 10 - June 2016

McCarter & English, LLP’s Health Care Group presents Issue 10 of the Health Law Insights, which discusses the latest legal issues in the health care industry. NATIONAL - Drug Diversion Case Raises Red Flags for...more

Summary: Final Rule on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) establishes a broad prohibition on discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in health programs and activities. After almost 3 years of...more

HIPAA Heats Up

Despite the issuance of the Omnibus Final Rule in 2013, HIPAA enforcement activity has remained relatively light—until recently. Indeed, compared to just a few settlements a year for the first decade that HIPAA was in force,...more

OCR Clarifies “Reasonable, Cost-Based” Fee Calculations for Access to Medical Records

By couching its position in an individual’s right to access protected health information (PHI), beginning on January 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance to...more

Burr Alert: Phase 2 HIPAA Audits

In an effort to review and examine compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its implementing regulations ("HIPAA"), the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil...more

Office of Civil Rights Releases “Dear Colleague” Letter on Transgender Students

On May 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) addressing a school’s Title IX obligations regarding transgender students, and explaining how the U.S....more

Study Finds Widespread HIPAA Violations Occurring on Yelp

It is no secret that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a trap for the unwary. A recent study by the non-profit ProPublica has uncovered that the online review site Yelp (as well as other...more

Health Care E-Note - May 2016

On April 6, 2016 the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration ("EBSA") issued its long awaited final rule redefining a fiduciary investment advisor (also known as the "conflict of interest rule"),...more

OCR Clarifies confusion with the $6.50 flat fee charge for PHI

In response to several questions received after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) published a fact sheet in early 2016 on individuals’ rights to access protected health...more

HHS Issues Final ACA Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities Regulation

In Depth - On Friday, May 13, 2016, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) finalized regulations that provide explicit protections from discrimination on the basis of gender...more

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

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