PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

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A Major Move to Weaken HIPAA

HIPAA Penalties Reduced

Quietly, at the end of April, HIPAA was significantly weakened.  HHS published what sounds like an innocuous notification in the Federal Register: Notification of Enforcement Discretion Regarding HIPAA Civil Money Penalties.  This notification is actually an enormous change to the HIPAA penalty structure, a drastic reduction in HIPAA fines. The existing penalty structure under HIPAA […]

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The Persistent Problems with Access to Records Under HIPAA

HIPAA Access to Medical Records

A study released last month in Jama Open Network entitled Assessment of US Hospital Compliance With Regulations for Patients’ Requests for Medical Records demonstrates that compliance with HIPAA’s right to access medical records remains woeful.  In the second half of 2017, researchers contacted 83 US hospitals and conducted a simulated patient experience to ask for medical records. […]

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Yes, HIPAA Requires Medical Records to Be Emailed to Patients if Requested

Email Medical Records

Have you ever asked your healthcare provider to send you medical records by email?  Most likely, you’ve received the reply: “We can’t do that.  We can only fax them to you or provide you with a paper copy.”  This answer is wrong. HIPAA’s right for individuals to access their health information, 45 CFR § 164.524, provides: […]

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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 2017: Another Big Year for HIPAA Enforcement

HIPAA Enforcement

At the end of 2017, the OCR logged just under $20 million in fines for HIPAA violations from 10 enforcement actions with monetary penalties.  In 2016, the total in penalties was roughly the same amount but from 15 organizations. Here is an overview of the resolution agreements and enforcement actions with civil monetary penalties from […]

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