PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

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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 […]

Increasing State HIPAA Enforcement: Highlights from 2018

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There have been quite a number of state HIPAA enforcement cases this year, and one expert points out a trend toward increasing state enforcement of HIPAA. An article in Data Breach Today discusses a number of state HIPAA enforcement cases.  Here are some of the ones discussed: Massachusetts — $75,000 settlement with McLean Hospital for […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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: […]

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. […]

HIPAA Cartoon: Notice of Privacy Practices

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This HIPAA cartoon involves the notice of privacy practices (NPP) under HIPAA.  HIPAA has a set of detailed requirements for the NPP.  See 45 CFR 164.520 for the text of HIPAA’s requirement for NPPs. The biggest challenge regarding privacy notices is that hardly anyone actually reads the notice, and notices are often a chore to read. There is […]

HIPAA Cartoon: Breach of Confidentiality

Cartoon HIPAA Confidentiality - TeachPrivacy HIPAA Training 02

This HIPAA cartoon involves confidentiality. There are countless cases of misdirected PHI that is emailed or faxed to the wrong people. I recently created a new short course on HIPAA Confidentiality.  You can learn more about it here. HIPAA Resources HIPAA Training Courses HIPAA Training Guide HIPAA Training Requirements FAQ HIPAA Whiteboard HIPAA Resources