News & Analysis as of

Record-Breaking HIPAA Settlement Sends Strong Message to Covered Entities

This month marked the largest HIPAA settlement to-date for a single entity. Advocate Health Care Network (“Advocate”) agreed to pay $5.5 million and adopt a corrective action plan after an investigation by the Department of...more

Office of Civil Rights Posts HIPAA Phase II Audit Guidance and Advocate Health Care Settlement Information

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently uploaded two items of interest: information regarding the largest penalty to date against a single entity, Advocate Health Care Network (Advocate), and HIPAA Phase II Desk Audit...more

Latest OCR HIPAA Settlement Provides Lessons for Covered Entities

Capping off a busy month of HIPAA settlements, on August 4, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced a $5.55 million settlement with Advocate Health Care Network (“Advocate”), the largest fully-integrated healthcare...more

Client Alert: The Government Enters into Largest HIPAA Settlement to Date; What HIPAA Covered Entities and Business Associates...

Advocate Health Care Network, which operates 12 hospitals and more than 200 other treatment centers in Chicago and central Illinois, has agreed to the largest settlement to date with the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) for...more

OCR Director Discusses Phase 2 Audits, OCR Priorities

A representative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently presented at a compliance forum to provide comments regarding the roll out of OCR’s Phase 2 HIPAA audits. The...more

Top Takeaways from IAPP

The world of privacy grows every day as more data goes through the cloud. The new trends and weekly data breaches make conferences like the Global Privacy Summit all the more relevant. Earlier this month we went to...more

Pay Attention to Business Associate Agreements!

For our HIPAA-covered entity readers, we have asked these questions before: Have you taken a business associate inventory? Have you undertaken a comprehensive risk assessment as required by HIPAA?...more

OCR fines MN hospital system $1.55 million for not having BAA with billing vendor

On March 16, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a press release announcing that it has settled its investigation of North Memorial Health Care System (NMHCS), located in Minnesota, for $1.55 million saying that...more

Don’t Neglect Your Business Associate Agreements!

As we have repeatedly emphasized on this blog, HIPAA Covered Entities must ensure that they have compliant business associate agreements (“BAAs”) in place with all of their business associates and must ensure that they have...more

HHS’ Selection of Contractor Provides Latest Update on Impending Second Round of HIPAA Audits

On October 27, 2015, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) official stated that the agency has hired FCi Federal, a provider of management and professional services to government agencies in Ashburn, VA, to...more

OCR Announces HIPAA Security Settlement with Cancer Care Group, P.C.

In September, 2015, OCR and HHS issued a press release announcing a Resolution Agreement with the Cancer Care Group, P.C., which included entry into the agreement, the adoption of a robust compliance plan, and the payment of...more

Meaningful Use Audits: Proactive Tips for Success

For health care professionals who began accepting Meaningful Use incentive money at the outset of availability under the Medicare option in 2011, the year 2015 is an important year. If the provider has met all core...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

Time for a HIPAA Security Check-Up!

The 2015 HIPAA Security conference held by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) kicked off last week with OCR’s...more

Office for Civil Rights Selects Vendor for Next Round of HIPAA Audits – Five Things You Should Do to Prepare

The Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has selected Ashburn, Virginia-based FCi Federal to conduct the next round of HIPAA audits mandated by the HITECH Act. OCR views the audits as a compliance tool that will hopefully get out...more

Hacking Your Health: For Healthcare Providers, Risk Analysis Must Be Ongoing

Healthcare providers would be wise to keep in mind that if a patient is harmed by a hacked medical device, Exhibit A in the negligence suit against them may be that provider’s risk analysis, or lack thereof....more

Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best: Why You Must Have a HIPAA Risk Assessment

When the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) auditor drops by your health facility to ensure that you are complying with HIPAA, one thing is for certain: he will be asking to see your Risk Assessment. Do you have one? Is it...more

Upcoming HIPAA Audits May Target Financial Institutions—Here’s How to Prepare

Much like a tornado watch, the conditions appear to be right for a coming storm: the upcoming Phase 2 HIPAA audits. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has begun verifying contact...more

Criminal Cyberattacks: The No. 1 Cause of Health Care Data Breaches in 2014

A new study released on May 7, 2015, by the Ponemon Institute revealed that criminal cyberattacks on health care organizations were the most prevalent cause of data breaches in 2014. The report underscores the need to think...more

Lessons Learned from Recent Data Security Breaches, Part Two

Because controlling access is essential to protecting privacy of PHI under HIPAA, the HITECH Security Rule essentially requires that a covered entity control physical and electronic access to the data system by implementing...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

How to Identify Hidden Risks in Big Data

T.S. Eliot wrote, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” While this may be an inspiring philosophy in many respects, it is a dangerous path for corporations that push the envelope...more

2015 Trends: #10 Cybersecurity: A Risk that Needs to be on Your Ethics and Compliance To-Do List

The starting point for every ethics and compliance program must always be an analysis of the ethics and compliance risks faced by the organization. In that light, it’s important to listen to James Comey, Director, U.S....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

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