News & Analysis as of

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

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

ALJ Upholds $239,800 In Civil Monetary Penalties For HIPAA Violations

Home health care provider Lincare, Inc. must pay $239,800 in civil monetary penalties for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule, according to a February 3, 2016...more

ALJ Upholds OCR’s $239,800 CMP for Healthcare Provider

On January 13, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administrative Law Judge upheld the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR’s) civil monetary penalty (CMP) against Lincare, Inc., d/b/a United Medical (Lincare), for...more

HHS proposes updates to confidentiality of Part 2 substance abuse treatment records

On February 5, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued proposes changes to the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations, also known as “Part 2 records” which were published...more

Second CMP Assessed for HIPAA Violations: Do You Know Where Your Data Is?

For only the second time in its history, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has imposed a civil money penalty (CMP) on a covered entity for allegedly violating the HIPAA...more

Blog: ALJ Upholds OCR Enforcement Against Lincare, Inc. of $239,800

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administrative law judge (ALJ) recently sustained an earlier HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) decision to impose a civil money penalty (CMP) of $239,800 against Lincare...more

Latest OCR Enforcement Action: Underbed Storage is Not Appropriate for PHI

Recent enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) have highlighted that, not surprisingly, Covered Entities should not leave medical records in a...more

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