On February 16, 2017, HHS OCR announced that Memorial Healthcare Systems (MHS) had paid the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $5.5 million to settle potential violations of HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules and agreed to implement a “robust” three year corrective action plan and resolution agreement. Why did MHS pay so much? A long-term failure to close security holes that led to identity theft and fraudulent tax returns.… More
Tag Archives: HHS
Written by James Swann | This article was originally published in Bloomberg BNA Health Care Daily Report
An Illinois health system has reached a $475,000 settlement over allegations it waited too long to report a data breach, the first time the government has settled over untimely breach notifications.
Presence Health uncovered a data breach on Oct. 22, 2013 affecting 836 individuals,… More
More information from HHS OCR about the phishing threat:
- On November 28, 2016, the HHS Office for Civil Rights issued a listserv announcement warning covered entities and their business associates about a phishing email that disguises itself as an official communication from the Department. The email prompts recipients to click a link regarding possible inclusion in the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Rules Audit Program,…
This alert just in from HHS OCR:
“It has come to our attention that a phishing email is being circulated on mock HHS Departmental letterhead under the signature of OCR’s Director, Jocelyn Samuels. This email appears to be an official government communication, and targets employees of HIPAA covered entities and their business associates. The email prompts recipients to click a link regarding possible inclusion in the HIPAA Privacy,… More
HHS OCR Guidance on Ransomware Attacks: They Constitute a “Security Incident” and Are Likely a Data Breach
On July 11, 2016, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released guidance on HIPAA covered entities’ responsibilities in a ransomware attack, a type of cyber-attack that has targeted the health care sector extensively in recent months. This guidance comes in the wake of a June 20, 2016 “Dear Colleague” letter from HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell highlighting ransomware issues. The most notable of OCR’s statements is that ransomware attacks often constitute breaches subject to the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule.… More
The summer movie season is now officially in full swing, with the release of three informational videos regarding HIPAA and the right of individuals to access their medical records, published by the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The video trilogy, and accompanying infographic, are the eagerly-awaited sequel to OCR’s guidance “Individuals’ Right under HIPAA to Access their Health Information 45 CFR § 164.525,” issued earlier this year. … More
You have seen all the hysterical headlines — “The HIPAA audits are coming, the HIPAA audits are coming….” But when you really think about it, what is the big deal? If you are a HIPAA covered entity, you surely know by now what you are supposed to be doing. And you probably have been doing it– so just check around to make sure before you get the dreaded letter from HHS OCR. … More
On January 22, 2016, I had the pleasure to present to the Massachusetts Health Information Management Association’s Winter Meeting, to discuss “Compliance Beyond HIPAA.” The presentation slides from the program are available here, and reflect discussion of:
HIPAA Privacy Regulations Amended to Allow Disclosures of Mental Health Information for Firearm Background Checks
On January 4, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) modified the HIPAA Privacy Rule to expressly permit certain covered entities to disclose to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) the identities of those individuals who, for mental health reasons, already are prohibited by Federal law from having a firearm. According to HHS, “This modification better enables the reporting of the identities of prohibited individuals to the background check system and is an important step toward improving the public’s safety while continuing to strongly protect individuals’… More
Triple-S Salud Inc., a Puerto Rican health insurer, has been hit with a $6.8 million penalty from the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services for a massive data breach. Triple-S (known as ASES in Spanish) has posted a notice on its website regarding the breach.