News & Analysis as of

HIPAA Violations Will Soon Be More Expensive

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intends to use higher fines and a new round of audits to send a strong message to the healthcare industry about complying with the Health Insurance Portability and...more

HIPAA Violation Results in $4.8 Million Settlement

While most healthcare providers know to pay close attention to the HIPAA rules when setting up their information technology systems, recent events have demonstrated that this close scrutiny should also be applied to computer...more

New HIPAA Reports to Congress Shed Light on OCR Enforcement

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued two reports to Congress, as required by the HITECH Act. The compliance report details OCR’s enforcement activities for 2011 and 2012 and...more

D’oh! OCR Confirms that Medical Records Should Not be Left in the Driveway

The most recent Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) HIPAA enforcement action serves as an important reminder to health care providers of the security risks associated with a mishandled medical records custody transfer and the...more

HHS Announces $800,000 HIPAA Settlement in Medical Records “Dumping” Case

On June 23, 2014, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entered into an $800,000 settlement with Parkview Health System, Inc. (“Parkview”), a nonprofit community health system servicing northeastern Indiana and...more

Health Law Alert: The Deadline for Amending Business Associate Agreements is Quickly Approaching

A key change from 2013’s HITECH “Omnibus” Rule was a requirement that Business Associate Agreements (“BAAs”) be modified to reflect revisions to HIPAA regulations. When the rule was issued on January 25, 2013, Covered...more

Health Law Alert: HIPAA Enforcement on the Rise, as OCR Audit Program Moves Forward

A recent settlement from New York—involving the largest fine levied to date in the history of HIPAA enforcement, a staggering $4.8 million imposed on two public hospitals—should remind health care providers, health plans and...more

Failure to Encrypt Mobile Devices = Nearly $2 Million in Settlements

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) settled for the collective amount of $1,975,220 with Concentra Health Services (Concentra) and QCA Health Plan, Inc. (QCA). The settlements stem...more

“Cha-Ching” – HIPAA Settlement Reaches New Heights and Signals More To Come

In the largest HIPAA enforcement action to date, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) extracted $4.8 million from two leading New York institutions, New York-Presbyterian Hospital...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

HHS OCR Settles Post-Data Breach Investigation for Record $4.8M

On May 7, 2014, HHS OCR announced a pair of resolution agreements with New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) and Columbia University (CU) totaling $4.8 million dollars—the highest settlement amount to date. These resolution...more

The Downside To Sharing – Two Hospitals To Pay Largest HIPAA Fine Yet

On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") announced the largest settlement to date under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"). New...more

Physical Therapy Provider Enters into HIPAA Settlement

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced yet another enforcement action. Specifically, OCR opened a compliance review of Concentra Health Services (Concentra) upon...more

Treating Mental Illness? Special Privacy Considerations Apply to Healthcare Providers

Decisions and unresolved questions about when and how to share information about mental illness treatment continue to make headlines. A variety of groups, including health care providers, law enforcement and mental health...more

OCR Announces the Results from it's Pilot Audit and it's Plans For Next Year

The Office of Civil Rights Audit Pilot Program has come to an end with 115 audits, primarily in person, having been completed. The Pilot Program had multiple revelations in privacy, some of which were probably, not so...more

HIPAA Impaired Providers and the ER - What Happens When Your Employee Becomes Your Patient?

I was speaking this week at IAHIMA’s Annual Conference on the issues relating to HIPAA audits and recent updates from OCR and ONC. As part of my program we typically solicit questions prior to the presentation, most of which...more

Free HIPAA Help

Health care providers, health plans, business associates, and other entities affected by the federal HIPAA privacy and security regulations are quickly running out of excuses for not having a robust HIPAA compliance program...more

HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool Released by HHS

HIPAA security risk assessment (SRA) tool was recently made available through HHS. The tool was developed as a collaborative effort between the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC),...more

OCR Clarifies Permitted Disclosures, Including Mental Health Care

The disclosure of mental health records and other disclosure-related issues tends to be less than clear for providers in their efforts to comply with the federal privacy rules. Such issues relate to appropriate disclosures to...more

Get Ready! HHS OCR Announces Next Round of HIPAA Audits

To combat new risks associated with rapidly evolving health information technology, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act...more

HIPAA Housekeeping - Don't Forget Your Annual Report of Small Breaches

If you are a "covered entity" under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") and suffer a breach of protected health information, one of your first reactions should be to count the number of affected...more

En Español: HHS Agencies Issue Model Notices of Privacy Practices in Spanish

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued model Notices of Privacy Practices (NPPs) in...more

CMS Finalizes HIPAA and CLIA Amendments Intended to Increase Patient Access to Test Results

Yesterday the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finally published the long-awaited final rule amending the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) and the Health Insurance Portability and...more

Foundations in HIPAA - Building Blocks of Health Law

Recent enforcement actions and the new Omnibus Rule implementing several HITECH obligations highlighted the need for a new look at HIPAA obligations for covered entities and now business associates. HITECH not only raised the...more

Health Reform + Related Health Policy News - January 2014, Issue 1

In This Issue: - Top News ..Congress Approves Budget Deal with Short-Term ‘Doc Fix' ..CMS “Two-Midnight” Rule delayed until March 31, 2014 ..Individuals with Canceled Insurance Policies May Apply for...more

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