Office of Civil Rights Healthcare

News & Analysis as of

Stolen, Unencrypted Laptop Leads to $850,000 Settlement and Comprehensive Corrective Action Plan for Massachusetts Teaching...

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), has announced a settlement with Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (Lahey) that arose out of a HIPAA breach involving a stolen laptop. The...more

Triple-S settles HIPAA violations for $3.5M

Triple-S Management Corp., an insurance holding company based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, has agreed to settle an investigation of HIPAA violations by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for $3.5 million. According to the OCR...more

Lahey Hospital agrees to pay a whopping $850,000 to OCR for stolen laptop

Just before Thanksgiving, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (Lahey) has agreed to pay $850,000 in fines and penalties to the OCR and enter into a resolution agreement following...more

OCR HIPAA Phase 2 Audits Coming Soon. Be Prepared.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced that the agency expects to begin Phase 2 Audits in early 2016. OCR intends to conduct desk audits and on-site audits of covered...more

Are Attorneys Entitled to “HIPAA Rate”?

Over the past year, numerous lawsuits and complaints to the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) have been filed by plaintiffs’ attorneys over a seemingly obscure HIPAA issue – the rate that health care providers and their...more

OCR Launches Platform for Developer HIPAA Questions

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released a new platform to provide mobile health developers (and any other interested stakeholders) a sounding board to ask questions, voice concerns, and “spitball” ideas about HIPAA...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

HHS Releases Far-Reaching Proposed Rule to Prohibit Discrimination by “Covered Entities” Pursuant to Section 1557 of the...

On September 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published a proposed rule titled “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities” (“Proposed Rule”)[1] to implement the nondiscrimination...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

HIPAA Fine Underscores OCR’s Focus on Physician Group Compliance

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced a $750,000 fine and resolution agreement, including a Corrective Action Plan (CAP), for Cancer Care Group, P.C. (CCG), a...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

OCR Launches Interactive HIPAA Site for Mobile Health App Developers

On October 5, 2015, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the launch of a new platform for mobile health (mHealth) developers and others interested in the intersection of health information technology and HIPAA privacy...more

Get Your Questions Ready

A lot has changed since the HIPAA Privacy Rule was finalized in 2002 and the HIPAA Security Rule was finalized a year later in 2003. The iPhone had not been released (that happened in 2007), Apple had just released the...more

Reports Instruct Office of Civil Rights to Increase HIPAA Enforcement Activities

On September 29, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released two reports that reviewed the Office of Civil Rights’ (OCR) enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The...more

OCR announces launch of Phase 2 of HIPAA audits

Although the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has indicated in the past that it would start its next round of HIPAA audits, apparently it means business now. In the wake of an Inspector General report that the OCR was merely...more

HHS Proposes Rules for Nondiscrimination in Health Care

On September 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) proposed new regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Section 1557 prohibits...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

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

Time for a HIPAA Security Check-Up!

The 2015 HIPAA Security conference held by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) kicked off last week with OCR’s...more

Cloud Sharing Apps Scrutinized for ePHI

In a relatively short time period, the direct costs of document storage have dropped precipitously, and cloud-based document storage has become ubiquitous. Clearly, this is a wave of the future. But a recent settlement...more

Internet-Based Document Sharing Applications Scrutinized

On July 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (SEMC) located in Boston, Massachusetts entered into an agreement following an investigation...more

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