News & Analysis as of

Protected Health Information Covered Entities

OCR Urges Covered Entities and Business Associates to Use HTTPS

New guidance from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) urges covered entities and business associates to use Secure Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTPS) to protect communications from vulnerabilities. According to OCR, the...more

Securing Protected Health Information: FBI Warning

by Burns & Levinson LLP on

HIPAA and the HITECH are federal laws that require the protection and security of confidential, protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information that is not necessarily health related. The federal...more

HIPAA Guidance Issued on Man-In-The-Middle Attacks

by McGuireWoods LLP on

Last week, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance on securing end-to-end communications for sensitive information transmitted between parties over the internet. The OCR warns against “man-in-the-middle” (MITM)...more

Recent HIPAA Privacy and Security Settlements and Lessons Learned

by Perkins Coie on

Although the fate of the Affordable Care Act remains undecided, enforcement of the HIPAA privacy and security regulations by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is ongoing,...more

OCR Identifies Continuing HIPAA Enforcement Issues, Areas of Future Guidance and Regulations

Last week the Health Care Compliance Association hosted its annual “Compliance Institute.” Iliana Peters, HHS Office for Civil Rights’ Senior Advisor for HIPAA Compliance and Enforcement, provided a thorough update of HIPAA...more

A New FBI Warning for Healthcare Providers

The FBI has issued new guidance specifically applicable to medical and dental facilities regarding the cybersecurity risk of File Transfer Protocol (“FTP”) servers operating in “anonymous” mode. FTPs are routinely used to...more

HIPAA Checkup – How Good Are Your Policies and Procedures?

by Snell & Wilmer on

Although it is not a new requirement, it is important and therefore worth a reminder: HIPAA requires covered entities to establish and implement written policies and procedures that are consistent with its Privacy and...more

2017 HIPAA Enforcement: Year to Date Lessons

With the announcements from OCR of three resolution agreements and one civil money penalty as of mid-February, OCR is off to a record start for HIPAA enforcement in 2017, with double the announcements as the same time last...more

HIPAA for HR - Some Good News for Employers

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that was enacted to ensure protection of individuals’ protected health information (PHI). The Standards for Privacy of Individually...more

HIPAA Enforcement Update (October 2016 – January 2017)

by Locke Lord LLP on

Since October 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced four settlement agreements to resolve allegations of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)...more

Children’s Medical Center of Dallas Clobbered by OCR

In a rare move by the OCR, it assessed a $3.2 million fine against Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (Children’s) after it issued a Notice of Proposed Determination against Children’s and Children’s failed to request a...more

Recent HIPAA Enforcement Actions

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced the first ever settlement related to a Covered Entity’s untimely breach notification in violation of HIPAA. Presence Health,...more

Tracking the Data Bandits

by Poyner Spruill LLP on

In the iconic western, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Butch and Sundance are hard pressed to evade a posse led by the semi-mythical lawman, Joe Lefors, who is so adept that he manages to track them across solid rock. The...more

HIPAA Breach? Notify Promptly or Face Significant Potential Fines from HHS OCR

by Arnall Golden Gregory LLP on

On January 9, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR), which enforces the privacy requirements contained in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), announced a...more

HHS Gets Agressive: HIPAA Audits from 2016

by Kiesewetter Law Firm on

HHS has become more aggressive with audits, and with increased penalties, covered entities and business associates simply cannot afford an audit on HIPAA rules and regulations. In March of 2016, HHS's Office for Civil Rights...more

Health Care Group News: OCR Releases New Clarifying Guidance In Response To Orlando Pulse Nightclub Attack

by Murtha Cullina on

In an emergency, when there is a flurry of activity in a hospital, covered entities often struggle with who they are permitted to release patient information to under HIPAA. On January 11, 2017, the Department of Health and...more

Time is of the Essence When Reporting a Breach of PHI

The failure to timely report a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI) has cost Presence Health (one of the largest health systems in Illinois) almost half of a million dollars. Earlier this month,...more

Looking Back at the HIPAA Resolution Agreements in 2016

by BakerHostetler on

In 2016, Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the enforcement arm for HIPAA, continued robust enforcement efforts. There were 12 reported resolution agreements (RA) in 2016. An RA is a settlement...more

21st Century Cures Act - HIPAA & Other Privacy Considerations

by Bass, Berry & Sims PLC on

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (the Cures Act) into law. The Cures Act addresses a wide range of healthcare topics including clinical research, treatment of mental health and substance...more

HHS OCR Levies Significant HIPAA Penalties in a Series of Recent Settlements: Covered Entities and Business Associates Alike...

by Arnall Golden Gregory LLP on

Between June and November 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) has announced seven high-dollar settlements to resolve alleged violations of the HIPAA privacy, security, and breach...more

UMass Amherst Settles HIPAA Violations with OCR for $650,000

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced that the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) has agreed to settle an investigation against it as a result of a malware infection for $650,000, along with implementing a...more

HHS Issues Warning About Phishing Campaign Disguised As Official Communication

by Dentons on

As part of its efforts to assess compliance with the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) engages in audits of covered...more

OCR Alerts Listservs About Fake Phishing Email to Covered Entities and Business Associates

On November 28, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued an Alert to its listservs that a phishing email is being circulated on “mock HHS Departmental letterhead under the signature of OCR”s Director, Jocelyn Samuels”...more

More on HIPAA Audits for 2016 and 2017–Desk Audits and On-Site Audits

As part of the ongoing HHS OCR HIPAA audit initiative, it is conducting “HIPAA desk audits.” These audits don’t involve auditors coming in your facility. Instead, covered entities are being asked to submit documents on...more

OCR Stresses Importance of Authentication in Newsletter

In a recent newsletter, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) encourages health care organizations to review their procedures around authentication and “ensure that they have the appropriate safeguards in place.”...more

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Cybersecurity

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