Tag Archives: HIPAA

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. […]

Providers of Care and Defenders of Privacy: Strategies to Protect Patient Privacy After the Reversal of Roe v. Wade

Healthcare providers carry a heavy load and it just got heavier.  In the wake of the reversal of Roe v. Wade and the prohibition and criminalization of abortion in some states, healthcare providers are now burdened with being more vigilant than ever in defending patients’ privacy rights. This is true in all states, even where […]

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:  […]

OCR Issues Guidance on Audio-Only Telehealth

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance on HIPAA requirements as they relate to audio-only telehealth.  Importantly, for the first time, OCR provides insights on its position on the difference between landline and VoIP telecommunication services.  OCR’s guidance applies now and after its telehealth enforcement discretion is […]

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 […]

HIPAA Right of Access Video Series

DMC Law is launching Privacy Pointers, which features short and informative videos on various privacy topics.  We begin Privacy Pointers with a series of videos on HIPAA’s Right of Access. There are six videos in this series that explore important aspects of the Right of Access.  Each video is no more than 5 minutes in length. […]

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. 

OCR Announces Five More HIPAA Right of Access Resolutions

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights announced the resolution of five more HIPAA Right of Access claims. That brings the total number of Right of Access resolutions this year to 12 (including a civil monetary penalty), edging out last year’s total of 11. As for settlement and penalty amounts, the Right of Access total for 2021 has surpassed 2020 by more than $300,000.

Telehealth, Privacy, and the Three Little Pigs: A Year and a Half Later

In my July 23, 2020 blog post, I used the familiar characters in the beloved fable The Three Little Pigs to illustrate the importance of building a secure and compliant telehealth delivery system. I explained that, despite the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) announcement of enforcement discretion during the public health emergency (PHE), healthcare providers should establish HIPAA-compliant telehealth delivery systems before enforcement discretion ended. Because the PHE may soon be over, that message bears repeating.

My Incident Response Planning Epiphany

(2 min read) 3:35 AM.  Alarm blaring.  Disoriented, I pop out of bed, reach for my glasses and ask, “what is that?”  “It’s the security alarm” my spouse replies.  For a moment, I was relieved because I feared it was the fire alarm.  For a split second, fire seemed like a better option than an intruder.  After briefly playing out the intruder scenario in my head, the fear returned.

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