Patient Privacy Rights Dept. of Health and Human Services

News & Analysis as of

Healthcare Lessons Learned From Reality TV

On March 31, 2016, a New York court determined that a lawsuit may proceed against a physician and hospital for breach of physician-patient confidentiality arising from a documentary series about medical trauma, NY Med. The...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

Provider Confusion and Interoperability Concerns Prompt OCR and ONC to Release Guidance on PHI Sharing

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (“ONC”) and the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released two fact sheets regarding permitted uses and disclosures...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

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

HHS Issues Proposed Rule That Would Revise the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects

Proposals are Intended to Enhance Protections for Higher Risk Clinical Research and Privacy Safeguards, including Uses of Biospecimens and Identifiable Private Information - On September 8, 2015, the Department of Health...more

Six Ways for Data-Driven Medical Device Companies to Implement Effective Privacy and Security Measures

The increasing amounts of health information being generated, stored and collected have heightened the special risks medical device manufacturers have long faced. In addition to the nexus to patient health and safety, if a...more

What Can You Expect in 2015 Regarding HIPAA Enforcement?

As of earlier this month, 1, 170 breaches involving 31 million records have been reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since mandated reporting of breaches began in September 2009.  An increase in the...more

OIG’s New Work Plan Focuses on the Security of Health Information

On October 31, 2014, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its Work Plan for fiscal year (FY) 2015. The Work Plan summarizes “new and ongoing reviews of activities...more

HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations

In light of the Ebola outbreak and other events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, released a bulletin to ensure HIPAA covered entities are aware of the ways in which patient...more

Confidentiality of Substance Abuse Treatment Information: HHS Considers Changes to the Part 2 Regulations and Requests Comment

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is considering significant changes to the “Part 2” regulations (the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse...more

Privacy Wednesday

What’s that old saying … “a day late and a dollar short?” Here is our Privacy Monday roundup … on Wednesday. Office for Civil Rights HIPAA Crackdown? The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) — the enforcement arm of...more

Advertising Law - May 2014

Here Today, Still Here Tomorrow: FTC Settles With Snapchat - Now you see it … and now it’s still there. Mobile messaging app Snapchat went with a catchier slogan, promising consumers that pictures and videos...more

Policyholders Face Heightened Scrutiny Under OCR’s New Permanent Audit Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has notably increased enforcement of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and Health Information...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

Server Breach Makes ePHI Accessible on Google, Costs Covered Entities $4.8 Million

It would be pretty unsettling if your patient status, vital signs, medications, and laboratory results were available for the world to see on Google, wouldn’t it? According to recent settlement agreements announced by the...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 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

HHS Issues HIPAA/HITECH Omnibus Final Rule Ushering in Significant Changes to Existing Regulations

"Sweeping changes" is how Leon Rodriquez, of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR), characterized the effect of the final omnibus Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)...more

HIPAA Omnibus Rule Reshapes Landscape for Health Care Privacy, Security Compliance

Originally published in Health IT Law & Industry Report, on January 23, 2013. On Jan. 17, 2013, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (‘‘HHS’’) issued a long-awaited omnibus rule...more

HITECH Omnibus Rule Basics

As we pore through the 562-page HITECH Omnibus Rule released by the Department of Health and Services late yesterday afternoon, here are some top line bullet points...more

HHS Announces New Patient Privacy and Security Protections

On January 17, 2013, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the final omnibus rule that among other things (1) increases patient privacy protections...more

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