Office of Civil Rights Covered Entities

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OCR Releases Updated HIPAA Audit Protocol and Business Associate Listing Template

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently updated the audit protocol that it will be using to assess Covered Entities’ and Business Associate’s compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)...more

Two Additional HIPAA Settlements Demonstrate Breadth of HIPAA Enforcement Activity

During the week of April 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced two significant settlements with a large New York City hospital and a North Carolina orthopaedic...more

Lights, Camera, Settlement: OCR says a picture is worth $2.2 million

A New York hospital has settled with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) for $2.2 million after allowing a TV crew for the ABC documentary series “NY Med” to film patients...more

Top Tips for OCR HIPAA Audit Preparation

The recently announced OCR HIPAA audits are not a cause for panic, according to experts, especially of organizations have proper documentation. With the most recent round of OCR HIPAA audits announced just last month,...more

Phase 2 HIPAA Audits Are Underway

In Depth - The US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on March 21, 2016, that it would soon begin a second phase of audits (Phase 2 Audits) of compliance with Health Insurance...more

Department of Health and Human Services Cracks Down on Vendor Oversight in Recent Hospital Settlements

From the rise in ransomware attacks to inadvertent disclosure of information by subcontractors, the health services industry is reminded that a potential consequence of a data breach is the threat of a regulatory enforcement...more

Understanding when Business Associate Agreements are necessary can avoid costly and embarrassing enforcement actions

A recently publicized settlement with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlights that it is not only important to have a HIPAA-compliant form of business associate agreement...more

OCR issues audit protocol and targets over 800 entities—business associates too

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued its revamped audit protocol for its second phase of auditing covered entities and business associates’ compliance with the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules....more

OCR Releases New HIPAA Audit Protocol and Other Audit-Related Materials

Earlier this month the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a revamped audit protocol that now addresses the requirements of the 2013 Omnibus Final Rule. OCR will be using the audit...more

How to Prepare for the Next Round of HIPAA Audits

Nearly two years after the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) first announced its preparation for another round of HIPAA audits, Phase II of OCR’s HIPAA audit program is finally underway. On March 21, OCR began emailing...more

A New Tool for Health App Developers to Navigate a Crowded Regulatory Field

As regulators seek to define their authority and the scope of their enforcement power, more health apps will continue to flood the marketplace and transform how patients are treated. As mobile health applications...more

HIPAA Audits Coming Your Way – Are You Ready?

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services has begun Phase 2 of its audit program under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In this phase, OCR will: -...more

The Audit Protocol is Released, and Other Updated HIPAA Audits News

As we previously reported, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launched Phase II of its audit program on March 21. Since that time, a significant amount of new information has emerged, including details regarding the...more

SOS Answered: New Guidance on HIPAA for App Developers

Amidst criticism that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) lags behind technological innovation, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released new guidance to aid app developers in determining how...more

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