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HealtHITech Law HIPAA, HITECH and Beyond

Tag Archives: HHS

OCR Guidance Clarifies Disclosures to Patient Spouses, Relatives, Friends

Posted in Permitted Disclosures, Personal Representative

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently provided guidance for healthcare professionals concerning disclosures of protected health information (PHI) under the HIPAA Privacy Rule (the Privacy Rule) to patient spouses, relatives, and friends. Under the Privacy Rule, a covered entity may “share [PHI] with an individual’s family member, other… Continue Reading

Untimely Breach Notification Leads to Significant HIPAA Settlement

Posted in Breach, Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently announced its first HIPAA settlement based on the untimely reporting of a breach of unsecured protected health information (“PHI”). Chicago-based Presence Health System (“Presence Health”) agreed to settle potential violations of the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule by paying $475,000.00 and implementing a… Continue Reading

OCR Alert: Phishing Email Disguised as Official OCR Audit Communication

Posted in OCR Audits

On November 28, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued an alert to providers and business associates monitoring their email for OCR audit communications. According to OCR, a phishing email disguised as an official communication from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and claiming to be signed by OCR’s director Jocelyn Samuels… Continue Reading

OCR Enforcement Results In Three HIPAA Settlements

Posted in Breach, Enforcement, OCR Audits

Many thanks to our colleagues Jonathan Ishee and Shannon Majoras for authoring this post. Recently the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced three settlements to resolve investigations into potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). OCR reached settlements with two academic medical centers, the Lahey… Continue Reading

Largest HIPAA Settlement Announced by HHS

Posted in Breach, Enforcement

Many thanks once again to our colleague, Robin Canowitz, for authoring this post. In the largest HIPAA settlement yet to be announced, two New York organizations have agreed to pay $4.8 million to settle allegations that they failed to secure the electronic health information (ePHI) of thousands of their patients.  New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) and… Continue Reading

HHS HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool Now Available

Posted in Security

Many thanks once again to our colleague, Sylvia Brown, for her assistance in authoring this post. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR), recently released a security risk asessment tool (SRA Tool) to assist entities… Continue Reading

OCR TO BEGIN SECOND ROUND OF HIPAA AUDITS

Posted in Enforcement, OCR Audits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has announced that it is gearing up for its second round of HIPAA compliance audits later this year.  The HIPAA Audit Program is authorized under Section 13411 of the HITECH Act and is intended to assess compliance with the HIPAA Privacy, Security,… Continue Reading

New HHS Guidance on HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Mental Health Information

Posted in Access Rights, Behavioral Health

Many thanks to our colleague Robin Canowitz for assisting us in drafting this post. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”) issued new guidance regarding the HIPAA Privacy Rule and its relationship to mental health information disclosures (“Guidance”).  The Guidance addresses when providers may appropriately share the protected health information (“PHI”) of their mental health… Continue Reading

Employee Sentenced to 3 Years for Violating HIPAA

Posted in Enforcement

A nursing assistant at a Florida assisted living facility was sentenced last week to 37 months in prison for violating HIPAA’s prohibition on the wrongful disclosure of patient health information.  The employee negotiated the sale of Social Security numbers with an undercover Tampa police detective.  According to the criminal complaint, the employee obtained information from the assisted… Continue Reading

HIPAA Webinar: Updates to The Privacy Rule

Posted in Rulemaking, Webinar

Please join us this Tuesday, March 19, 2013 for a complimentary webinar to further discuss the release of the Final Omnibus HIPAA Rule by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  This is the first in a three-part miniseries following last month’s webinar, where we focused generally on the sweeping changes to the HIPAA Privacy… Continue Reading

Final Omnibus HIPAA Rule Delayed

Posted in Rulemaking

Still waiting. The White House Ofice of Management and Budget (“OMB”) has extended its review of the final omnibus HIPAA rule, validating recent comments indicating that further delay was likely.  As we reported back in March, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rigths submitted the final omnibus rule for review by OMB,… Continue Reading