Office for Civil Rights Publishes HIPAA Audit Protocol

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been conducting HIPAA privacy, security and breach audits since early this year and today released the protocol that is has being using to inform the audit process. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in […]

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List of State Attorneys General Enforcing HIPAA May Expand

The Health information Technology for Clinical and Economic Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 empowered state attorneys general (AGs) to enforce HIPAA privacy and security rules. So far, four AGs have taken up the cause–in Connecticut, Indiana, Minnesota and Vermont. More AGs may follow now that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the enforcing agency in […]

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HIPAA Omnibus Rule to Be Released by End of Summer

What the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department calls its HIPAA Omnibus Rule should be finalized by the end of summer, Farzad Mostashari, the national coordinator for Health IT, announced this past week. The rule, which combines four separate provisions, was submitted on March 23 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a […]

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HHS Misses Almost Half of Health Reform Act Deadlines

A study of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reveals that it has missed 20 of 42 deadlines mandated by the health care reform act of 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), according to the American Action Forum (AAF), which did the research. In one case, the department took a […]

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Knowledge of the Law Not Relevant to HIPAA Privacy Violation, Court Says

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction of the first person in the United States to be given a prison term for violating the privacy policy of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) without using the information for personal gain. Huping Zhou, a former researcher for the UCLA Healthcare System, […]

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Health Insurance Rebate Letters Coming in August, With or Without a Check Inside

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a final rule on health insurers' compliance with the medical-loss ratio (MLR) standards of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that will result in all insured Americans receiving a letter from their insurance company this summer, even if they're not receiving a rebate. […]

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HHS Releases Final Rules to Ease Regulations for Health Care Providers

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced what the agency is calling "significant steps to reduce unnecessary, obsolete, or burdensome regulations on American hospitals and health care providers." These steps will help achieve the key goal of President Obama’s regulatory reform initiative to reduce unnecessary burdens on business and save nearly $1.1 […]

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KPMG Relates Observations from First 20 HIPAA Security Audits

Giant accounting and consulting firm KPMG in 2011 was contracted by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to conduct an initial round of up to 150 HIPAA security audits as mandated by the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act of 2009. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) requires covered entities […]

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HHS Proposes Health Plan ID Rules

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to publish in the Federal Register on April 17 a proposed rule for implementing a requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to establish health plan IDs. The department, as a result of the rule, hopes to begin dishing out Health Plan Identifiers […]

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HEAT Partnership to Combat Medicare Fraud

At a Chicago summit highlighting a new high-tech war against health care fraud, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder this past week discussed how the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration’s Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) are helping fight Medicare fraud.  The Chicago […]

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