News & Analysis as of

Lincare, Inc. ordered to pay civil monetary fines for HIPAA violations

In an unusual scenario, in fact, only the second time in history, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) was successful before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in obtaining an order for the payment of civil monetary fines as a...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

Historic Moment: Husband Reports Wife’s HIPAA Violation Triggering Six Figure Penalty Against Employer

For the second time in history, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has imposed a civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) against a covered entity for violations of the Health Insurance and Portability Act (“HIPAA”). Lincare, Inc., a...more

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Notifying Patients When a Physician Leaves

The University of Rochester Medical Center (“URMC”) recently agreed to pay a $15,000 penalty for providing patient names, addresses, and diagnoses to a departing nurse practitioner (“NP”) without first obtaining authorization...more

2016 HIPAA Audits to Begin: Are you Confident in Your HIPAA Compliance?

Although the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or “HIPAA,” has been around since 1996, with its implementing regulations first published in the early 2000s, it is definitely not “old news.” In light of...more

Four Questions to Ask before Disclosing (or Withholding) PHI in Transaction Due Diligence

HIPAA’s restrictions on the use or disclosure of protected health information (“PHI”) by a covered entity or business associate may be familiar to many in healthcare. Also familiar may be the exception that allows covered...more

OCR issues new guidance on individuals’ access to PHI: Is your access policy compliant?

On Jan. 7, 2016, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued new guidance (Guidance) on the right of individuals under the HIPAA Privacy Rule to access their protected health information (PHI). In the Guidance, the OCR indicated...more

HHS Removes Barriers to Reporting Federal Mental Health Prohibitor Status for Gun Background Checks

On January 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a modification to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) removing barriers to reporting federal mental health...more

New HIPAA Privacy Rule Permits Disclosures to Background Check System

On January 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule amending the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to strengthen the current background check...more

HHS issues new guidance on individual access to PHI under HIPAA

On January 7, 2015, HHS issued new guidance (Guidance) regarding an individual’s right to access his or her health information under HIPAA’s Privacy Rule. The Guidance emphasizes that HIPAA, while protecting the privacy and...more

WEBINAR: Cloud Computing & Health Care Organizations - Critical Privacy & Security Issues

More and more organizations are turning to the cloud because of how flexible and low-cost it is. As a result, many health care organizations are now using cloud-based servers to store patient information and are discovering...more

Blog: University of Washington Medicine Agrees to Settle Alleged HIPAA Breach

Last week, the University of Washington Medicine (UWM), an affiliated covered entity that includes multiple entities such as the University of Washington Medical Center, agreed to settle alleged violations of the Health...more

University with Multiple Covered Entity Components Enters Into $750,000 HIPAA Settlement

On December 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a $750,000 settlement with the University of Washington (UW). This is the third HIPAA settlement announced by OCR...more

Triple-S Management Corporation Will Pay $3.5 Million To Settle Potential HIPAA Violations

On November 30, 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Triple-S Management Corporation had agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle potential violations of...more

HIPAA and Health Care Data Privacy – 2015 Year in Review

As the year winds down, we look back with a mixture of nostalgia and queasiness on the major Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) events that defined 2015. Incredibly large data breaches became...more

Recent HIPAA settlements emphasize importance of robust compliance program

Two recent HIPAA settlements remind organizations subject to HIPAA of the importance of having a robust HIPAA privacy and security compliance program in place. Most recently, on Nov. 30, 2015, the Office of Civil...more

PHI on the Cloud and White Label Covered Entities: HIPAA Challenges for Telemedicine Providers

Both telemedicine providers and technology companies that serve the telehealth industry face some unique and sometimes complicated challenges dealing with HIPAA, especially as it relates to the storage, transmission, and use...more

High Cost of HIPAA Violations Demonstrated in $3.5 Million Settlement

Triple-S Management Corporation (“Triple-S”), on behalf of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Triple-S Salud, Inc., Triple-C, Inc., and Triple-S Advantage, Inc., has agreed to pay $3.5 million as part of a Resolution Agreement...more

OCR Continues Waving Its HIPAA Enforcement Flag: Don’t Forget About Medical Devices

The day before Thanksgiving, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the largest resolution agreement of 2015, against Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (Lahey). The...more

Privacy and Security: Highlights from the HHS Inspector General’s 2016 Work Plan

On November 2, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2016 (2016 Work Plan), which describes the OIG’s investigative focus for...more

OCR Expected to Strengthen HIPAA Enforcement in 2016

Two recent reports issued by the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recommended that HHS’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) should fully implement a permanent audit...more

Blog: Hospital and Vendor Reach Agreement to Settle Alleged HIPAA Violations with Connecticut AG

Last week, the Connecticut Attorney General (the “Connecticut AG”) announced that Hartford Hospital and its subcontractor, EMC Corporation (“EMC”), agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and...more

OIG Emphasizes Proactive Enforcement of Privacy Rule and Monitoring of Repeat Offenders

The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) recently released Privacy Standards report assessed the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) oversight of covered entities’ compliance with the Privacy Rule as well as the extent to which...more

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