Category Archives: HIPAA Enforcement

HIPAA Enforcement in 2022: The Year of the Dentist

Written in collaboration with Melissa Chaplik, JD Candidate 2024 Dentists take note:  HIPAA most likely applies to your practice (and it has for the last 20 years).[i]  Doing things like blasting a patient in response to a negative review on-line, using patient data for a political campaign, and ignoring correspondence from regulators is bad (i.e., […]

OCR Strikes Again: Another HIPAA Right of Access Settlement

On December 15, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced its 17th HIPAA Right of Access settlement of the year.  Overall, OCR has settled or assessed a penalty in a Right of Access enforcement matter 42 times since it began its Right of Access enforcement initiative in 2019. […]

OCR’s Focus on Dentists Continue: Dentist Pays for Responding to On-Line Reviews

No one likes receiving negative reviews on Yelp.  But healthcare providers need to exercise better restraint than a dentist who will pay $23,000 to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to settle claims that his responsive posts violated HIPAA. OCR received a complaint that New Vision Dental (NVD) continuously […]

Dentists Continue to be a HIPAA Enforcement Target and Right of Access Remains the Focus

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced three more HIPAA Right of Access enforcement resolutions – all against dentists.  And the story is largely the same:  patients requested records and did not timely or properly receive those records.  In one instance, the dental practice significantly overcharged for records. […]

Tossing PHI in The Trash Can be an Expensive Mistake

Last week, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reminded us of the importance of the basics when it comes to protecting patient information.  On August 23rd, it announced a HIPAA enforcement action involving tangible protected health information (PHI) that a practice tossed out with the rest of the trash. For over a decade, PHI in […]

OCR Awoke from its HIPAA Enforcement Slumber Last Week

If you asked me Friday morning of last week to give you my impression of HIPAA enforcement so far in 2022, I would have said “slow.”  Up to that point, OCR had announced only four enforcement actions and all on the same day in March (see Three Dentists and a Psychiatrist Walk into a Bar:  […]

Subpoena Response that Violated HIPAA Costs a CT Healthcare Provider $853,000

Healthcare providers regularly receive subpoenas for medical records.  All too often, providers simply turn over the subpoenaed records without ensuring that the disclosure is permitted by law.  A recent Connecticut appeals court decision, Byrne v. Avery Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology, P.C., upheld a jury award of $853,000 for a healthcare provider’s improper medical record […]

DMC Law’s HIPAA Helpline Virtual Discussion Group

Every couple of months, DMC Law invites healthcare professionals who regularly grapple with privacy issues to gather (remotely) and discuss those issues.  The HIPAA Helpline is not a webinar.  It’s an interactive session.  DMC Law’s lawyers, Dena Castricone and Tracy Guarnieri, review legal requirements while participants share stories, questions and best practices.  The goal of […]

Three Dentists and a Psychiatrist Walk into a Bar: Four HIPAA Enforcement Actions that are No Joke

Three dentists and a psychiatrist walk into a bar . . . and they each walk out with a five-figure tab for HIPAA compliance failures.  It’s not funny, but the five-figure payment part is true and there’s a lot to be learned from their mistakes. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil […]

A Year in Review: HIPAA Enforcement Action Resolutions in 2021

Here it is!  My annual summary of HIPAA enforcement action resolutions.  I know you all have been eagerly awaiting its arrival.  No plot twists or surprises this year – the enforcement themes are much the same as those in 2020.  As I explain below, Right of Access was again the star. 

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