Office of Civil Rights Covered Entities

News & Analysis as of

Charges for Medical Records: Are You Compliant with HIPAA?

Through a series of releases in the first half of 2016, HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued guidance on the individual right of access to protected health information (“PHI”) provided under HIPAA. One topic with...more

HIPAA Enforcement on the Rise

After a number of years of little HIPAA enforcement activity, the tides appear to be turning. From September 2015 through April 2016, HIPAA settlements have averaged more than one a month. The dollar amounts involved are...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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