News & Analysis as of

A Year in Review: Key HIPAA Settlement Agreements by HHS’s Office for Civil Rights

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights had another busy year in 2014. More resolution agreements were signed by HHS and Covered Entities than in the previous year, and several Covered...more

OCR Launches Phase 2 HIPAA Audit Program with Pre-Audit Screening Surveys

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) covered entities have reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently sent pre-audit screening surveys...more

Blog: Updated Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Information Released by ONC and OCR

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in collaboration with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released its new updated guidance for the privacy and security of electronic...more

OCR Transmits Pre-Audit Screening Surveys to Covered Entities for Phase 2 HIPAA Compliance Audits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently transmitted HIPAA pre-audit screening surveys to covered entities that may be selected for a second phase of HIPAA compliance audits...more

ONC Releases Privacy and Security Guidance Geared Toward Small Providers

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) recently released a new and improved version 2.0 of their Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information. This revamped...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

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

Just in Time for the Holidays: Another HIPAA Settlement

On December 2, 2014, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, Inc., (ACMHS) entered into a Resolution Agreement and Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to settle alleged violations of the...more

Blog: Alaska Provider Reaches HIPAA Settlement with OCR for Security Deficiencies

On December 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Anchorage Community Mental Health Services (“ACMHS”) has agreed to settle potential violations of the...more

New York Hospitals to Pay Record $4.8 Million for HIPAA Data Breach

In the largest Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) settlement to date, two New York hospitals have agreed to pay $4.8 million to settle allegations that they failed to secure thousands of patients’...more

Two Health Care Organizations Pay Largest HIPAA Fine at $4.8 Million Resulting from Unsecured Shared Network

New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University entered into a settlement with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to resolve allegations that the organizations had violated the...more

$4.8 Million – Largest HIPAA Settlement to Date

On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued a press release announcing that two health care organizations—New York and Presbyterian Hospital (“NYP”) and Columbia...more

Paying the Price: Physician Group Faces Hefty Penalty and OCR Oversight After Failure to Conduct Security Risk Assessment and...

What you need to know: The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Health & Human Services is continuing its trend toward more aggressive enforcement of HIPAA violations. Small provider entities are not immune...more

Privacy and Security Alert: January 9th, 2014

On December 5, 2013, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported on the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) compliance as of May 2011 with oversight and enforcement of the Security Rule and compliance with federal cybersecurity...more

A New Year’s Resolution (And Corrective Action Plan) From OCR: Physician Practice Cited For HIPAA Violations

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is closing out 2013 with a reminder of the importance of an effective HIPAA compliance program. On December 26, 2013, OCR announced a resolution agreement with a Massachusetts physician...more

Medical practice agrees to payment due to HIPAA data breach

One day after Christmas, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced that a Massachusetts-based dermatology practice (Practice) agreed to a $150,000 payment and entered into a...more

HHS Closes Out 2013 with 6th Resolution Agreement

Throughout 2013, HHS OCR has stated that covered entities of all sizes need to give priority to securing ePHI. In addition, HHS OCR has recommended that covered entities identify and mitigate risks before an incident occurs....more

HIPAA security violations result in $1.7 million settlement

On July 8, 2013, WellPoint, Inc., a managed care company (“WellPoint”), agreed to pay a $1.7 million fine to settle a self-reported breach of HIPAA, a key federal health privacy law, that led to the unauthorized disclosure of...more

HHS Empowers Consumers to Know (and Enforce) their Rights Under HIPAA

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published on its website a series of factsheets designed to educate consumers unfamiliar with their rights under the Health Insurance...more

A Detailed Analysis of Changes to HIPAA and the Implications for Healthcare Providers and Others in the Healthcare Industry: HIPAA...

Changes to the HIPAA Security Rule Background: The HIPAA Security Rule protects electronic PHI by requiring Covered Entities to implement certain administrative, physical, and technical safeguards surrounding...more

The Omnibus Final HIPAA Rule Is Here

On January 17, 2013, the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the omnibus final rulemaking (Omnibus Rule). According to HHS, this Omnibus Rule is needed to strengthen...more

OCR Releases Sample Business Associate Agreement Provisions

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has posted on its website sample business associate agreement provisions to help covered entities and business associates comply with the new business...more

Be Prepared: Redline Version of the HIPAA/HITECH Final Rule

The final rule is significant for any organization that is considered to be a HIPAA covered entity (“CE”) (health systems, health care providers, health plans, etc.) or the more broadly defined business associate (“BA”)....more

OCR'S Breach Settlement: The First Ever Involving Less Than 500 Patients

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) started 2013 with a bang by announcing that it had reached "the first settlement involving a breach of unprotected electronic protected health information (ePHI) affecting fewer than 500...more

Health Law Alert: Deficient Data Security On Mobile Devices Leads To First HIPAA Breach Settlement Involving Less Than 500...

On January 2, 2013, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced its first HIPAA breach settlement involving less than 500 patients. OCR took action against a hospice provider in...more

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