News & Analysis as of

Exploring the Causes of Healthcare Data Breaches

Pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), covered entities (e.g. healthcare providers and health plans) must notify the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) of breaches...more

HIPAA Enforcement Actions by the Numbers

Protecting patient information is a central duty for both covered entities and business associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Should a HIPAA-subject entity ever fail to protect...more

OCR Releases Video Guidance on Provision of Medical Records

The summer movie season is now officially in full swing, with the release of three informational videos regarding HIPAA and the right of individuals to access their medical records, published by the Office of Civil Rights of...more

HHS Issues HIPAA Guidance for Mobile Health Apps

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued guidance to help mobile application developers analyze whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) may apply to them....more

HHS guidance seeks to clarify scope of PSQIA

On May 24, 2016, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued guidance (Guidance) to health care providers and patient safety organizations (PSOs) in an attempt to clarify the definition of patient safety work...more

OCR Clarifies “Reasonable, Cost-Based” Fee Calculations for Access to Medical Records

By couching its position in an individual’s right to access protected health information (PHI), beginning on January 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance to...more

HHS Releases HIPAA Privacy and Security Audit Guidelines as it Starts its Second Round of Audits and Continues Enforcement Efforts

During April 2016 the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) posted lengthy audit guidelines for HIPAA Privacy and Security on its website (over 400 pages). As HHS starts its audits of health care providers, health...more

Health Law Wire: Recent HIPAA Settlements Highlight the Importance of Business Associate Agreements (5/16)

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services that enforces the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, recently sent a clear message about the importance of business...more

Settlements reached for PHI Disclosures

In the last two months, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced two settlement agreements involving the disclosure of protected health information ("PHI"). In both instances, the health care...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

Department of Health and Human Services Cracks Down on Vendor Oversight in Recent Hospital Settlements

From the rise in ransomware attacks to inadvertent disclosure of information by subcontractors, the health services industry is reminded that a potential consequence of a data breach is the threat of a regulatory enforcement...more

NY Hospital to Pay $2.2 Million for Allowing TV Crew to Videotape Dying Patient

On the ABC television series “NY Med,” doctors from New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) are profiled as they perform medical procedures. However, in an effort to keep it “real,” the show’s crew has landed the hospital in hot...more

Not a Check-the-Box Exercise: Failure to Have Signed BAA Results in Substantial Fine

A group practice that was the victim of a silver-harvesting scam has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) $750,000 to settle charges that it released protected health information (“PHI”) of...more

Ex-Husband's Revenge Leads to HHS Trophy

Patient care is not confined to a single office or exam room, or a single physician or other provider. Caring for patients these days now includes complex coordination among physicians, nurse, technicians, staff, management,...more

HHS OCR Announces Launch Of Long-Awaited Phase 2 HIPAA Audit Program

On March 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced the launch of its Phase 2 HIPAA compliance audits pursuant to which it will audit covered entities and...more

Improper Disclosure of Research Information Results in $3.9 Million Settlement

On March 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that the Feinstein Institution for Medical Research (“Feinstein”) agreed to pay $3.9 million to resolve...more

OCR Launches Phase 2 of HIPAA Audits

Five suggested steps healthcare organizations and their contractors should take to prepare. On March 21, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services launched Phase 2 of the HIPAA Audit...more

OCR Announces Two Significant HIPAA Breach Settlements

On consecutive days, the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently announced two large HIPAA breach settlements. On March 16, 2016, OCR announced that it entered into a...more

HHS Office For Civil Rights Releases A Crosswalk Between HIPAA Security Rule And NIST Cybersecurity Framework

At the end of February, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released a table, called a “crosswalk,” that maps standards and implementation specifications of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability...more

Help with HIPAA!

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has published answers to some frequently asked questions about an individual’s right to access identifiable health information. Are the FAQs boring? Absolutely. But are they...more

Until Death Do Us Part – Divorce and HIPAA Violations: A Lesson in Safeguarding Protected Health Information

The Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, recently took the rare step of imposing civil monetary penalties against a large home health provider for violating the Health...more

HHS releases HIPAA guidance on care coordination and case management

In its third release of HIPAA guidance over the past few weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released“The Real HIPAA: Care Coordination, Care Planning, and Case Management Examples” to assist covered...more

A&B Healthcare Week in Review

I. REGULATIONS, NOTICES, & GUIDANCE - On February 24, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a guidance entitled, “Special Enrollment Confirmation Process” that will enhance program integrity...more

Six-Figure January HIPAA Enforcement Activities Highlight Importance of Maintaining Privacy Protections

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) were each involved in the resolution of high profile privacy matters in January 2016. The two...more

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