On November 7, 2019, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a $1.6 million civil penalty imposed against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for violations of HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.
Continue Reading HHS Imposes 1.6 Million Dollar Civil Penalty on Texas State Agency for Health Data Breach

On July 11, 2019, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that his office had entered into a consent decree and $10 million settlement with Premera Blue Cross (“Premera”) that stems from a 2014-2015 breach that affected more than 11 million individuals. The settlement, which includes a payment of roughly $5.4 million to Washington state and $4.6 million to a coalition of 29 other state Attorneys General (the “Multistate AGs”), is one of the largest ever for a breach involving protected health information (“PHI”) and comes just one month after another notable HIPAA settlement involving a similar coalition of state AGs.

Continue Reading Washington AG Settles with Premera on Behalf of Multistate Coalition

On May 6, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights announced that it had entered into a resolution agreement and $3 million settlement with Touchstone Medical Imaging. The settlement is the first OCR HIPAA enforcement action in 2019, following an all-time record year of HIPAA enforcement in 2018.
Continue Reading OCR Settles with Medical Imaging Services Company

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights entered into a resolution agreement and record settlement of $16 million with Anthem, Inc. following Anthem’s 2015 data breach, the largest breach of protected health information in history that affected approximately 79 million individuals.
Continue Reading OCR Enters into Record Settlement with Anthem

On February 13, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights announced that it had entered into a resolution agreement with the receiver appointed to liquidate the assets of Filefax, Inc. in order to settle potential violations of HIPAA.
Continue Reading Unsecured PHI Leads to OCR Settlement with Closed Business

On September 7, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights issued an announcement containing disaster preparedness and recovery guidance in advance of Hurricane Irma. The announcement underscores key privacy and security issues for entities covered by HIPAA to help them protect individuals’ health information before, during and after emergency situations.
Continue Reading OCR Releases Guidance on HIPAA Compliance During Emergencies

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights and the Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force have published important materials addressing cybersecurity in the health care industry. This blog entry provides highlights on these materials.
Continue Reading OCR and Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force Publish Cybersecurity Materials

On April 24, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights announced that it had entered into a resolution agreement with CardioNet, Inc., stemming from gaps in policies and procedures uncovered after CardioNet reported breaches of unsecured electronic protected health information.
Continue Reading Wireless Provider Reaches $2.5 Million Settlement with OCR

On April 12, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights entered into a resolution agreement with Metro Community Provider Network that stemmed from MCPN’s lack of a risk analysis and risk management plan that addressed risks and vulnerabilities to protected health information.
Continue Reading OCR Settlement Underscores Importance of Risk Analysis and Risk Management