There has been confusion as to whether the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination provision (“ACA”) affects a covered entity’s notice of privacy practices (“NPP”) or data breach notifications. OCR has issued guidance indicating that ACA does indeed impact NPPs. Moreover, breach notifications also likely are affected. Accordingly, i… Continue Reading
The administrative simplification provision of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and its implementing regulations (HIPAA) impose obligations on employer-sponsored group health plans. Given recent high-profile HIPAA enforcement actions, employers should understand their compliance
obligations. This checklist is inten… Continue Reading
New Guidance on HIPAA: Nine Changes to Make
While there have not been significant regulatory changes to HIPAA since 2013, that doesn’t mean that compliance can be static. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued guidance in several areas, ranging from an individual’s right of access to ransomware to vi… Continue Reading
This article first published in the IAPP’s Privacy Tracker blog.
In this Privacy Tracker series, we look at laws from across the globe and match them up against the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The aim is to help you determine how much duplication of operational effort you might avoid as you move toward GDPR compliance and help you focus your effo… Continue Reading
A not-for-profit health care system recently agreed to pay the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $2.4 million as part of a settlement over potential Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations. The incident at issue involved the system releasing a patient’s name to the press, consumer advocacy groups, and poli… Continue Reading
On April 24, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that CardioNet, a provider of remote mobile monitoring and rapid response services to patients at risk for cardiac arrhythmias, has paid $2.5 million to settle alleged HIPAA violations. This is the first HIPAA settlement involving a remote … Continue Reading
Protecting patient information is a central duty for both covered entities and business associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Should an entity subject to HIPAA fail to protect patient information, it may face possible enforcement action from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for … Continue Reading
Following the HITECH Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued regulations requiring HIPAA covered entities to provide certain notifications for breaches of unsecured protected health information. OCR provides data on its website for breaches affecting 500 or more individuals.
To better understand t… Continue Reading
On January 18, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule amending the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records rule at 42 C.F.R. Part 2. Yesterday, HHS delayed the effective date of the rule from February 17 to March 21. While the rule adds some much needed flexibility that will improve the abilit… Continue Reading
On February 1, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (“Children’s”) has paid a civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) of $3.2 million to resolve multiple HIPAA violations over several years. This CMP announcement raises a number of question… Continue Reading
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 discovered in calendar-year 2016. A small breach involves fewer than 500 individuals.
HIPAA Notification Requirements. HIPAA re… Continue Reading
The Code of Federal Regulations has recently published the 2016 version of the HIPAA regulations. This is the most up-to-date “official” version of the HIPAA regulations. We have created a version that includes PDF bookmarks to allow users to more easily jump from section to section.
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 Insurance Company of Puerto Rico (“MAPFRE”) after an unencrypted USB data storage device containing records of approximately 2,… Continue Reading
On Jan. 9, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced the first HIPAA enforcement action for failure to timely report a breach. Often investigating and making formal determinations concerning a potential breach can be very time consuming, even when responding promptly and appropriately to the eve… Continue Reading
To start off the New Year, here are some potential health information privacy and security resolutions. You can use these Annual, Quarterly, and Monthly lists to map out your privacy and security tasks for the year, and then check them off as you complete them. We have included empty rows for you to add your own resolutions.
As with any New Year’s resolution… Continue Reading
What’s worse than receiving an email indicating that you have been selected for an audit by your favorite government regulator? Clicking on a link in the email and discovering that it is a phishing attack that has just compromised your computer and your network.
HIPAA covered entities and their business associates should beware of potential phishing at… Continue Reading
Financial organizations that are business associates can expect a wave of HIPAA desk audits to evaluate the HIPAA compliance efforts of business associates. These audits have a limited focus and are conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR). For business associates, desk audits will target breac… Continue Reading
September can bring about lots of changes, especially for college students. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) released a guide for departing college students and their families on mental illness, including navigating certain privacy laws.
Health privacy and confidentiality laws protect your health records, including mental health rec… Continue Reading
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 Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) began more widely investigating these small breaches under the Health Insurance … Continue Reading
Phase 2 of the HIPAA audits is fully underway, and covered entities now can take a breath if they have not received a desk audit request. But we still are at the beginning of Phase 2, with more to come.
Preparing for Audits. Some steps that covered entities and business associates can take to further prepare:
- Business associates should verify that risk analysi
Athletes at the Rio Olympics aren’t the only ones setting records this year. Hoping to send a “strong message” about the importance of safeguarding electronic protected health information (PHI) and conducting mandated risk analyses, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently reached the larges… Continue Reading
Pikachu, Alakazam, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle can teach us a few things about HIPAA privacy. Pokémon GO is a recent craze encouraging people to try to catch’em all. As a result, employees, clients, and patients are scrambling around the halls of covered entities and business associates in search of elusive Pokémon, hoping to take a capt… Continue Reading
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has entered into a Resolution Agreement with a business associate over allegations that it potentially violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule by failing to protect electronic protected health information (ePHI).
On June 2… Continue Reading
Protecting patient information is a central duty for both covered entities and business associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Should a HIPAA-subject entity ever fail to protect patient information, it may face possible enforcement action from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office f… Continue Reading