News & Analysis as of

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights Data Security

The United States Department of Health and Human Services is a federal executive department established in 1953, as part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The Agency became independent in 1980... more +
The United States Department of Health and Human Services is a federal executive department established in 1953, as part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The Agency became independent in 1980 and was renamed The Department of Health and Human Services at that time. HHS is charged with protecting and improving the health of the American population, as well as providing essential services.    less -

Lessons To Be Learned From The Breach Of Nearly 500,000 Individual Health Records Reported In September 2017

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

A recent report indicates that nearly 500,000 individual health records were breached in September 2017. This figure is taken from the 39 healthcare data breaches involving more than 500 records that were reported to the...more

NY AG Fines Healthcare Firm $130,000 for Improperly Delaying Breach Notices to Consumers Due to an FBI Investigation

by Arnall Golden Gregory LLP on

On June 15th, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement with CoPilot Provider Support Services Inc. to resolve allegations that the company improperly delayed notice to more than 220,000 consumers of...more

Tick Tock Tick Tock, When a Breach Occurs, You’re on the Clock!

As a reminder that state attorneys general have enforcement authority over breach notifications, the New York Attorney General recently announced a $130,000 settlement for a failing to provide breach notification in a...more

My Entity Just Experienced a Cyber-Attack! What Do We Do Now?

by Balch & Bingham LLP on

On June 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released a cyber-attack “Quick Response” checklist (the Checklist) for the benefit of HIPAA covered entities and business...more

OCR Publishes Checklist and Infographic for Cyber Attack Response

OCR released a simple checklist and infographic last week to assist Covered Entities and Business Associates with responding to potential cyber attacks. As cybersecurity remains a pressing concern for health care entities,...more

OCR Announces First HIPAA Settlement with Wireless Health Services Provider

by Morgan Lewis on

The $2.5 million settlement reflects the agency’s focus on mobile health privacy. On April 24, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a settlement with CardioNet, a...more

Phishing Incident Leads to $400,000 HIPAA Settlement

?On April 12, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) agreed to pay HHS $400,000 to settle alleged HIPAA Security Rule...more

Gone Phishin’: Hack Leads to HIPAA Settlement

Earlier this week, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced a $400,000 settlement with Metro Community Provider Network (“MCPN”) related to a 2012 HIPAA breach caused by a phishing scam. The phishing scam, carried...more

Recent HIPAA Privacy and Security Settlements and Lessons Learned

by Perkins Coie on

Although the fate of the Affordable Care Act remains undecided, enforcement of the HIPAA privacy and security regulations by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is ongoing,...more

$5.5 Million HIPAA Settlement Underscores Importance of Audit Controls

On February 16, 2017, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) disclosed a $5.5 million settlement with Memorial Healthcare Systems (MHS) for HIPAA violations affecting the protected health information (PHI) of 115,143...more

$5.5 Million HIPAA Settlement Matches Largest Payment To-Date

On February 16, 2017, the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Memorial Healthcare Systems of Florida (“MHS”) agreed to pay $5.5 million and enter into a...more

HIPAA Enforcement Update (October 2016 – January 2017)

by Locke Lord LLP on

Since October 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced four settlement agreements to resolve allegations of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)...more

HIPAA Small Breach Notification Due March 1: “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb” if You Submit Timely

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

March 1, 2017 is the date by which HIPAA covered entities must notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of “small” breaches of unsecured protected health information that were...more

HHS Gets Agressive: HIPAA Audits from 2016

by Kiesewetter Law Firm on

HHS has become more aggressive with audits, and with increased penalties, covered entities and business associates simply cannot afford an audit on HIPAA rules and regulations. In March of 2016, HHS's Office for Civil Rights...more

The Price of PHI – A $2.2 Million USB Drive

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

A stolen unencrypted USB drive led to a $2.2 million settlement and a Resolution Agreement. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on January 18th a settlement with MAPFRE Life...more

Breach of Privacy Prompts Breach of Etiquette: DHHS Sets New Precedent in Privacy Breach Enforcement

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

On January 9, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) took action against a health system for non-timely reporting of a breach of protected health information. It was the first...more

Ransomware – A Significant Cybersecurity Concern

by Baker Donelson on

Over the past year, no information security threat has demanded more media and corporate attention than ransomware. The evolution of this threat from an ineffective nuisance to a sophisticated business model generating...more

HHS OCR Levies Significant HIPAA Penalties in a Series of Recent Settlements: Covered Entities and Business Associates Alike...

by Arnall Golden Gregory LLP on

Between June and November 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) has announced seven high-dollar settlements to resolve alleged violations of the HIPAA privacy, security, and breach...more

Beware of Phishing Email Disguised as Official OCR Audit Communication

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has posted an alert (and a follow-up alert) warning health plans, health care providers, and their vendors of a mock communication...more

OCR Guidance Underscores Importance of Authentication under HIPAA

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In its tenth OCR Cyber Awareness Newsletter of the year (Newsletter), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reminded HIPAA-covered entities and business associates of the importance of selecting an appropriate authentication...more

Cloud Service Providers Beware, You May Be Subject to HIPAA Without Knowing It

by BakerHostetler on

The use of cloud service providers has exploded in the past several years. According to estimates from Gartner, the market for cloud services is expected to reach $204 billion in 2016. But the use of cloud service providers...more

HHS Designates Cloud Service Providers as Business Associates Under HIPAA

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

Cloud service providers that process electronic protected health information (ePHI) are business associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), even if the PHI is encrypted and the...more

HHS Publishes New Guidance on HIPAA and Cloud Computing

by Stinson Leonard Street on

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new guidance regarding HIPAA compliance and the use of cloud computing solutions. The guidance is intended to assist covered entities...more

Small-Breach Focus Shows Growing Scope Of HIPAA Probes

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

Flexing yet more enforcement muscle under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, on Aug. 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights announced that it will more widely...more

OCR Sets Sights on Smaller HIPAA Breaches

Covered entities and business associates can expect increased scrutiny for breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting fewer than 500 individuals. Starting August 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human...more

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Cybersecurity

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