PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

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First OCR Enforcement of HIPAA’s Right of Access

HIPAA Right to Access

Days after my recent blog post on the HIPAA Right of Access, the OCR released details of their first enforcement action for violation of the Right of Access. The complaint, received in August 2018, involved a mother who waited over 9 months to receive prenatal records from Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg.  She requested the […]

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The Failure of HIPAA’s Right of Access

HIPAA Right to Access PHI - TeachPrivacy 02

One of the biggest sore spots in HIPAA compliance has been providing individuals with their right to access their medical records. In addition to the countless anecdotal accounts about the painful process of getting medical records, a recent study demonstrated just how far there is to go for providers to be in compliance.  More than […]

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HIPAA Enforcement 2018

HIPAA Enforcement 2018 - TeachPrivacy HIPAA Training 02

Last year was a record-setting year for HIPAA enforcement.  On HHS’s website, OCR has touted its 2018 enforcement: OCR has concluded an all-time record year in HIPAA enforcement activity.  In 2018, OCR settled 10 cases and secured one judgment, together totaling $28.7 million. This total surpassed the previous record of $23.5 million from 2016 by […]

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HIPAA Enforcement: Employee Access and BAAs Matter

HIPAA Enforcement - Employee Access 01

Pagosa Springs Medical Center (PSMC) has agreed to pay $111,400 to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for an alleged violation of HIPAA. OCR found that the company failed to deactivate a former employee’s access to a web-based calendar that contained the protected health information […]

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Vendor Management Matters: HIPAA Enforcement for $500K for Lack of a Business Associate Agreement

HIPAA Enforcement - Business Associate Agreement 01

Advanced Care Hospitalists PL (ACH) has agreed to pay $500,000 to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for an alleged violation of HIPAA. OCR found that the company shared protected health information (PHI) with an unknown vendor without a business associate agreement (BAA).  According to […]

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HIPAA Enforcement Case – Allergy Associates

HIPAA Enforcement

Allergy Associates of Hartford has agreed to pay $125,000 to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for an alleged violation of HIPAA. The incident occurred in February 2015.  A patient reached out to a local TV station about a dispute with a doctor at Allergy Associates. […]

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HIPAA Whiteboard and HIPAA Interactive Whiteboard

HIPAA Whiteboard

Recently, I created two new HIPAA training resources. HIPAA Whiteboard I created a 1-page visual summary of HIPAA, which I call the HIPAA Whiteboard.  The idea was to summarize HIPAA in a concise and visually-engaging way.  You can download a PDF handout version here.  We’ve been licensing it to many organizations for training and awareness purposes. […]

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HIPAA Enforcement Case – Filefax

HIPAA Enforcement

This week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced an agreement to settle HIPAA violations with Filefax, located in Northbrook, Illinois. One aspect was different than their usual settlement process in that Filefax closed the business down during the OCR investigation and was no longer operating when […]

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Why Is HIPAA Data Breach Enforcement Increasing? An Insurer’s View from Katherine Keefe

    Recently, HIPAA enforcement over data breaches is increasing – a lot. This year has seen some of the largest monetary penalties. Why is this happening? I had the chance to interview Katherine Keefe, who leads the Beazley Breach Response (BBR) Services Group.  I am particularly interested in the insurer’s perspective, so I interviewed Katherine. […]

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2017 HIPAA Enforcement

Art E.V.Pavlov_by_Repin

  The first quarter of 2017 is not yet over and the OCR has already released details of four HIPAA enforcement penalties totaling over $11 million.  2016 set a record with $20 million in fines for the year, with $5.2 million of that coming in the first quarter.  In just the first 2 months of […]

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