Privacy Rule

News & Analysis as of

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 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

HIPAA Privacy Rule Now Permits Reporting for Firearms Background Checks

On January 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule that modifies the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. This modification expressly...more

HIPAA Privacy Rule Amended To Permit Reporting of Firearm Background Check Information

The January 6, 2016 Federal Register included a final rule (“Final Rule”) amending the HIPAA Privacy Rule to expressly permit certain “covered entities” to disclose to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System...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

Are Attorneys Entitled to “HIPAA Rate”?

Over the past year, numerous lawsuits and complaints to the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) have been filed by plaintiffs’ attorneys over a seemingly obscure HIPAA issue – the rate that health care providers and their...more

OIG report spurs OCR to announce phase 2 audits

On September 29, it was revealed that the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will commence Phase 2 of its HIPAA audit program in “early 2016.” OCR’s revelation regarding the Phase 2 audits, which had been the subject of...more

Reports Instruct Office of Civil Rights to Increase HIPAA Enforcement Activities

On September 29, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released two reports that reviewed the Office of Civil Rights’ (OCR) enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The...more

Don’t Wait for It; Recent HIPAA Enforcement Action Signal More to Come in Phase 2 Audits

Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) have recently selected a vendor to conduct the second wave of HIPAA audits. These so-called “Phase 2 Audits” are set to commence...more

Don't Wait for It; Recent HIPAA Enforcement Action Signal More to Come in Phase 2 Audits

Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) have recently selected a vendor to conduct the second wave of HIPAA audits. These so-called "Phase 2 Audits" are set to commence...more

OCR settlement reiterates importance of proactive security rule compliance

On September 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that Cancer Care Group, P.C. (CCG), a physician practice located in Indiana, agreed to pay $750,000 as part of a settlement to resolve...more

Data Breach Nightmare Scenario: News Affiliate Reports Improper Disposal of Patient Information

A tip from a local Denver news outlet lead to a compliance review, investigation and ultimately a resolution agreement between the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) and Denver-based...more

OCR’s New Bulletin on Ensuring Privacy in Public Health Emergencies

This week, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a bulletin (Bulletin) to remind covered entities and business associates that “the protections of the Privacy Rule are not set aside during an emergency.” The...more

Privacy Australia: What Do Death, Taxes and Deactivated Online Accounts Have in Common?

Australia recently joined the growing ranks of countries that take privacy seriously - so seriously that a breach of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) can now result in a...more

Be Prepared – HIPAA Audits are Coming in 2014

Later this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) is expected to launch its permanent HIPAA Audit Program. The HIPAA Audit Program is authorized under Section 13411 of the HITECH Act, and is designed to...more

OCR Proposes HIPAA Amendments to Address Gun Violence

As we previously reported, President Obama has made it a priority to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”). Last week, more than eight months after the issuance of a advance notice of...more

3 Weeks Left: Is Your Business Ready for HIPAA Compliance?

The September 23, 2013 deadline for covered entities, business associates and their subcontractors to implement the new HIPAA rules is approaching quickly. In case you missed it, on January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of...more

What Your Copier has Seen Cannot Be Unseen (Unless It's Wiped): Avoid HIPAA Exposure

The next time you walk by your office copier or fax machine, plug a flash drive into a universal serial bus port on your computer, or pull your smartphone out of your pocket, consider the amount of data that has crossed...more

Labor Letter, August 2013: NLRB Taking Close Look At Photography Policies

In February of 2009, a Wisconsin medical center fired several nurses after they electronically posted patient x-rays to their Facebook page, revealing the presence of a potentially embarrassing foreign object. As a result,...more

International Employment Law Review: August 2013 - Issue 4: Recent Employment Law Developments in France

Legislation - Interprofessional National Agreement and Law on Employment Security Passed - On January 11, 2013, social partners at national level agreed to an interprofessional agreement “for a new economic and...more

Privacy Monday – August 5, 2013

Privacy bytes, gaffes, and goofs for the first Monday in August – New Hampshire Bank Victimized by Malware: Manchester, NH-based St. Mary’s Bank, the oldest credit union in the United States, has begun notifying...more

HIPAA and the Omnibus Rule: How to Assess Whether and What your Company Must Do to Comply

A key amendment to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) called the “Omnibus Rule” took effect on March 26, 2013. The Omnibus Rule impacts both companies that directly collect protected health...more

Is Your Firewall On? Are You Sure? Idaho State University Settles Privacy Rule Violations for $400,000

The HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced a $400,000 settlement with Idaho State University (ISU) following a lengthy investigation of the privacy and security practices at ISU outpatient clinics. In addition to...more

New HIPAA Omnibus Regulations – What Employers Who Sponsor Group Health Plans Need to Know to Comply

On January 25, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published final regulations that modify the Privacy, Security, Enforcement and Breach Notification Rules issued pursuant to the Health Insurance...more

OCR Issues Final Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Breach Notification and Enforcement Rules to Implement the HITECH...

On January 25, 2013, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule (Final Rule) containing modifications to the privacy standards (Privacy Rule), security...more

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