Healthcare Information Security

HIPAA and Compliance News

OCR Clarifies HIPAA Desk Audits, Unique Device Identifiers

July 29, 2016 - With the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announcing the HIPAA desk audits earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) wanted to ensure that covered entities fully understand the process and how it will potentially affect them. COR posted updated FAQ sections on its website discussing the recent round of HIPAA audits, and also clarified the process for unique device...


Articles

Latest Round of OCR HIPAA Audits Not a Reason for Panic

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The second round of the OCR HIPAA audits is officially underway, with desk audits being announced in July 2016. Notification letters were sent out to 167 covered entities on Monday, July 11, that they had been selected for the desk audit portion...

UMMC Agrees to $2.75M HIPAA Settlement after Multiple Violations

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Following numerous reports of alleged HIPAA violations that led to a healthcare data breach, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) recently agreed to a $2.75 million HIPAA settlement. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) explained...

What Does Increased Patient Access Mean for HIPAA Compliance?

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More individuals than ever before now have electronic access to their own health information, according to a recent report from the American Hospital Association (AHA). However, organizations are required to offer patient access as part of their...

OHSU Health Data Breaches Lead to $2.7M OCR Agreement

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Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) recently signed a resolution agreement with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) following two health data breaches it suffered in 2013. OHSU will pay $2.7 million as part of the agreement, and will also...

Desk Audits Begin for OCR Phase Two HIPAA Audits

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The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) officially launched phase two of its HIPAA audit program earlier this week, sending out notification letters to selected covered entities. The letters were sent out on July 11, according to an OCR email, with...

Ensuring HIPAA Compliance Before a Potential HIPAA Audit

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Businesses and healthcare providers are facing increasing pressure to meet and maintain HIPAA compliance standards. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced it will be performing a new round of random audits throughout 2016. Before 2016, 98...

HHS Releases Healthcare Ransomware, HIPAA Guidance

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Conducting a risk analysis, regular user training, and maintaining an overall contingency plan are just a few of the recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in its recent healthcare ransomware and HIPAA guidance....

Are Insurance Companies Liable for Possible HIPAA Violations?

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An appellate court recently ruled that an insurance company was required to defend a hospital in a class-action complaint that the hospital in question was responsible for potential HIPAA violations. The Travelers Indemnity Company of America...

Business Associate Agrees to $650K OCR HIPAA Settlement

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The latest OCR HIPAA settlement further underscores that business associates (BAs) need to ensure that they are adhering to the same data security standards as covered entities. Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia...

OCR HIPAA Settlements Highlight PHI Disclosure, Compliance

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Understanding the proper safeguards when it comes to HIPAA compliance, following proper PHI disclosure methods, and implementing comprehensive business associate agreements are all key areas to keeping data secure, according to the 2016 OCR HIPAA...

HIPAA Minimum Necessary Standard Discussed in Hearing

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The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics’ (NCVHS) subcommittee on privacy, confidentiality, and security held a hearing last week to help the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) develop better guidance on the HIPAA...

How Do HIPAA Rules, Patient Privacy Apply in Emergencies?

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No healthcare organization wants to compromise patient privacy, and HIPAA rules were designed to ensure that this does not occur.   Covered entities of all sizes should understand how the HIPAA Privacy Rule applies in various situations....

ONC Releases Educational Videos on HIPAA Rights for Patients

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In an effort to better educate individuals on HIPAA rights for patients, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) released a series of videos that explain the rights patients have to access their health information. Additionally, ONC revealed...

HHS Clarifies HIPAA Regulation Patient Right of Access Costs

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While HIPAA regulations state that patients have a right of access to their own health information, many individuals are left wondering just how much it will cost them to view their own PHI.  Fortunately, the Department of Health and Human...

Patients Allege Genetics Company Violated HIPAA Regulations

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Four patients have alleged that a genetic testing company violated HIPAA regulations after it initially refused to provide them with their complete genetic test results, reported an official press release from the American Civil Liberties Union,...

Staying HIPAA Compliant While Using Health Data Encryption

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Many people may be surprised to learn that HIPAA laws do not require any specific type of health data encryption. However, regulatory updates since the Security Rule’s enactment have shown how critical HHS thinks encryption is, and for...

Congress Urged to Improve Healthcare Data Privacy Rule

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The current healthcare data privacy laws of 42 CFR Part 2 (Part 2), which discuss the confidentiality of drug and alcohol treatment and prevention records, need to better align with HIPAA regulations, according to the American Hospital Association...

Earlier HIPAA Audits Help Healthcare Data Breach Prevention

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Utilizing better communication, implementing a universal HIPAA audit certification system, and embracing cyber insurance are just some of the recommendations for better healthcare data breach prevention recently put forth by the Brookings Institution....

Understanding the Gray Areas in HIPAA Compliance

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Several weeks have passed since the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the launch of phase two of its HIPAA audit program. No surprises, then, that HIPAA compliance is a topic that’s receiving a lot of attention right now....

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