Patient Privacy Rights Office of Civil Rights

News & Analysis as of

DWT Releases Latest Health Care Breach Charts

Safeguarding patient information is at the core of responsibilities for health care entities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). But safeguarding patient information isn’t just a regulatory...more

Mental health center hacked

Not-for-profit mental health center Emergence Health Network, located in El Paso, Texas, has announced that its computer servers were compromised “through an unauthorized internet connection” from as far back as 2012....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

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 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

HIPAA Settlement Continues to Emphasize the Importance of Security Policies and Procedures

A recently announced settlement between Anchorage Community Mental Health (“ACMHS”) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) emphasizes, once again, the importance of compliance with...more

Privacy Tuesday: December 2014 – The Twelve Days of Privacy 2014

Our series last year was a reader favorite, so we decided to put our prognosticator hats on again and present: Rather than look back at 2014, starting tomorrow, the Privacy & Security blog will count down The 12 Days...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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally! HHS Office of Civil Rights Releases HIPAA Omnibus Rule With Sweeping Changes to Compliance Requirements and Enforcement

The final regulations from Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) containing modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules (Omnibus Rule) have finally...more

HIPAA Enforcement – The Gathering Storm Has Arrived

Since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rules became effective in April 2003, there has been minimal enforcement activity by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office...more

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