Office of Civil Rights Data Security

News & Analysis as of

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

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

Also In the News - Data, Privacy, & Security Practice Report - May 2016

OCR Releases Guidance On Data Security Incident Preparedness—On May 3, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released its cyber-awareness monthly update on the topic...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

Health Law Insights Newsletter - Issue 8 - April 2016

McCarter & English, LLP’s Health Care Group presents Issue 8 of the Health Law Insights, which discusses the latest legal issues in the health care industry. NATIONAL - New Payment Model for Part B Drugs Proposed -...more

Federal Agencies Provide User-Friendly Guidance on Compliance with Data Privacy Laws

How federal privacy laws apply to mobile health applications has been an area of significant ambiguity. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil...more

State AGs Upping the Ante on Health (and Other) Information Data Incidents – Expect Increased Enforcement Actions

State attorneys general (AGs) continue to emerge as major regulators of privacy, and increasingly, with respect to compromises of health-related data. Businesses concerned with U.S. customer or employee data have long...more

Employer-Sponsored Health Plans Should Get Ready for HIPAA Audits

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended, (HIPAA) audits could be right around the corner for self-funded employee health plans. The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil...more

OCR Kicks Off HIPAA Audits After Issuing Two Major Settlements

On March 21, 2016, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launched phase two of its much-anticipated audit program for covered entities and business associates. The announcement comes in the wake of OCR's issuance of two major...more

Data-Harvesting Zombie Hackers, Blood-Thirsty Auditors, and Other Reasons to be Scared on Halloween

This Halloween, the scariest monsters might not be in your closet or under your bed. They may be overseas, orchestrating intrusions into your electronic medical record. Or they may be lurking in your own workforce, carrying...more

HHS’ Selection of Contractor Provides Latest Update on Impending Second Round of HIPAA Audits

On October 27, 2015, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) official stated that the agency has hired FCi Federal, a provider of management and professional services to government agencies in Ashburn, VA, to...more

OCR portal designed for medical mobile app developers

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services has launched a web based portal so medical mobile app developers can ask their “burning” questions about HIPAA compliance....more

Privacy, Security, Risk: What You Missed At IAPP Conference

Earlier this month, privacy and security professionals from around the globe gathered for “Privacy. Security. Risk. 2015”—the second joint conference between the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the...more

OIG Reports Insufficient Oversight Of HIPAA Compliance

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) must improve its oversight and enforcement of patient information privacy and security rules by “covered entities” and their business associates under the Health Information Portability...more

Is Your HIPAA Compliance Program Ready for the FTC?

Everyone in healthcare knows that the next round of HIPAA audits is coming. Covered entities and business associates have long been advised to review and update their HIPAA security risk analyses, have business associate...more

OIG report spurs OCR to announce phase 2 audits

On September 29, it was revealed that the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will commence Phase 2 of its HIPAA audit program in “early 2016.” OCR’s revelation regarding the Phase 2 audits, which had been the subject of...more

OIG Calls for Stronger HIPAA Compliance Efforts

The OIG has issued two reports calling for stronger ONC oversight of covered entity compliance with HIPAA standards. In the first report, “OCR Should Strengthen Its Oversight of Covered Entities’ Compliance with the HIPAA...more

SEC’s Increased Cybersecurity Enforcement and How to Reduce Your Risks

The SEC announced last week that an investment adviser had agreed to settle charges that it failed to take required steps to protect against and respond effectively to a cybersecurity breach. The action comes on the heels of...more

Cure of Security Rule Violations Following Breach of EPHI Cannot Save Covered Entities from $750,000 Settlement; Non-Breach...

More than three years after the Cancer Care Group, P.C. (“CCG”) notified the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) of a breach of unsecured electronic protected health...more

Don't Wait for It; Recent HIPAA Enforcement Action Signal More to Come in Phase 2 Audits

Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) have recently selected a vendor to conduct the second wave of HIPAA audits. These so-called "Phase 2 Audits" are set to commence...more

How to Avoid and Respond to a Cybersecurity Breach

In light of numerous recent data breaches, cybersecurity has emerged as an issue impacting organizations ranging from the local hardware store to the largest multi-national firms in the world. In short, no industry is immune...more

OCR Enters into $750,000 Settlement with Physician Practice for HIPAA Violations

On September 2, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced a settlement with Cancer Care Group, P.C., a thirteen-physician oncology practice in Indiana related to violations of the...more

OCR settlement reiterates importance of proactive security rule compliance

On September 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that Cancer Care Group, P.C. (CCG), a physician practice located in Indiana, agreed to pay $750,000 as part of a settlement to resolve...more

Back to School – HIPAA 101

After a summer that saw major data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management and UCLA Health System, this fall is a great time to take your organization back to school on HIPAA compliance and data security. Here are...more

HIPAA Security Requirements Aren't Cloudy, Especially to Whistleblowers

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS OCR) announced that it had entered into a settlement agreement with St. Elizabeth's Medical Center (SEMC) in Brighton,...more

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