Office of Civil Rights

News & Analysis as of

HIPAA Enforcement Action, Breaches and Pilot Audits

During the HCCA Compliance on Monday, April 20, 2015, Iliana Peters, Senior Advisor for HIPAA Compliance and Enforcement, HHS Office of Civil Rights, presented “Lessons Learned from Recent HIPAA Enforcement Action, Breaches...more

Justice Department Settlement With edX Suggests Heightened Scrutiny of Online Course Accessibility and Potential Strategies for...

On April 2, the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with edX, a major online college course provider, over alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to the accessibility of...more

NSBA Concerned About Recent Supreme Court Decision’s Impact on OCR Investigations

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) recently expressed its concerns over the Supreme Court’s recent landmark ruling in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, which allows federal agencies to issue “interpretive...more

OCR’s Enforcement of HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules Continues with Robust 2014

With the news of the recent cyber-attack and resulting data breach at health insurance giant Anthem Inc., the buzz around data security and privacy is again high. The Anthem breach serves as a reminder to those entities...more

Health Law Alert: Top 10 Takeaways from Alessandra Swanson & MSBA HIPAA Discussion

On Feb. 13, the Health Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) sponsored an event on HIPAA enforcement in 2015. The MSBA hosted Alessandra Swanson of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health &...more

Office of Civil Rights Delays Phase 2 Audits

The Office of Civil RIghts (“OCR”) recently announced that Phase 2 of the HIPAA audits would be further delayed because the audit portals and project management tools that are needed to initiate the audit process are not...more

Seattle Office for Civil Rights Issues Proposed Rules Regarding Minimum Wage Ordinance; Seeks Comments

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights has just released proposed administrative rules for the Minimum Wage Ordinance, which takes effect on April 1, 2015. Once finalized, the rules will guide how the Ordinance is interpreted...more

HIPAA and “Meaningful Use” Audits: Issues to Consider and How to Prepare

As more and more providers adopt electronic health records (“EHRs”) systems (and with new regulations concerning their required use for purposes of Medicare billing for chronic care management, their popularity can only...more

Preparing for Phase 2 HIPAA Audits: It’s All About the Documentation

The launch of Phase 2 HIPAA audits is imminent. Although any individual hospital has only a small chance of getting audited, preparation helps protect a hospital if it is ever investigated for potential HIPAA violations. In...more

Bernstein Shur’s Labor and Employment Practice Group Highlights Legal Issues to Watch in 2015

HIPAA in the Workplace - In late 2013, the Office of Inspector General issued a report critical of the Office of Civil Rights’ enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. OCR enforcement of...more

Pressure Points: OCR Enforcement Activity in 2014

During 2014, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services initiated six enforcement actions in response to security breaches reported by entities covered by the Health Insurance...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Recent Health Care Updates

On January 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its plan to propose changes to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program (EHR Incentive Program). According to CMS, the rule will address...more

OCR Updates Breach Report Web Portal — Changes Could Impact Annual Breach Reports

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently launched an updated version of the portal covered entities must use to notify OCR regarding a breach of unsecured protected health...more

Two Governmental Regulators Highlight Cybersecurity Issues In 2015 Priorities

It is no surprise that numerous government regulators have listed cybersecurity amongst their priorities for 2015. This past week, two of these regulators – the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office for Civil...more

Deadline Approaching to Report Certain HIPAA Breaches to Federal Officials

The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule requires covered entities to notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) if a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI) is discovered. As most...more

State Of The Union “Sneak Peek” Highlights Administration Cybersecurity Initiatives

As part of a series of “sneak peeks” announced in advance of the State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 20th, President Obama made remarks last week before the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Homeland...more

Alert: Five Ways to Reduce Your HIPAA Liability

As of early December 2014, 1,170 security breaches under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) involving 31 million records had been reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...more

Blog: Next Round of HIPAA Audits to Begin “Expeditiously”

During a media roundtable held this week, the Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Jocelyn Samuels provided additional information regarding the long awaited next round...more

Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney to Focus on Discrimination in Schools

Educational institutions – including public and private schools, colleges, and universities – may have to defend various types of discrimination claims brought by students, and in various arenas. In addition to federal court...more

HIPAA Compliance: Are You Prepared for the 2015 HITECH Act Audits?

In 2015, the United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) will begin enforcing the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health...more

Harvard and OCR Enter into a Resolution Agreement – More Guidance for the Rest of Us

In the closing weeks of 2014, OCR announced its findings with respect to Harvard Law School’s Title IX compliance, as well as a resolution agreement which subjects the Law School, and the University, to monitoring for at...more

On the Tenth Day of Privacy, OCR Gave to Me…..

……………..a cumbersome C-A-P The U.S Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has received tremendous publicity in recent years for its upward-trendingfines and aggressive enforcement of HIPAA...more

Latest HIPAA Settlement: Compliance is an Ongoing Process

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued its first settlement under new OCR Director Jocelyn Samuels earlier this month. This latest settlement serves as a reminder that a...more

$150,000 HIPAA Settlement Following Breach of Unsecured PHI Due To Malware

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced on December 8, 2014 that a community behavioral health organization agreed to pay $150,000 and adopt a corrective action plan to...more

Malware Incident at Mental Health Nonprofit Leads to $150K Settlement with OCR

As cyberattacks targeting the healthcare industry continue to escalate, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has published its first-ever resolution agreement stemming from an...more

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