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HIPAA Sentencing Results in Home Confinement and Probation

Several pharmaceutical district sales managers were fined and sentenced to probation, home confinement, or a combination of the three, for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). One district manager was charged with filling out prescription prior authorizations on behalf of physicians in an effort to increase sales numbers, and instructing his representatives to do the same. The district manager was also said to have ignored a...

Cloud Computing and HIPAA

Cloud storage and computing are being widely adopted by businesses across many fields, including those classified as Covered Entities and Business Associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). With such a significant modernization, how are the HIPAA obligations of these entities affected when using a Cloud Service Provider (CSP)? The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released guidance for Covered Entities and Business Associates with respect to...

OCR to Advance Investigations of Breaches Affecting Fewer Than 500 Individuals

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced that it will begin to more actively investigate breaches of Protected Health Information (PHI) affecting fewer than 500 individuals in order to evaluate the primary, and likely, causes of such incidents, and develop appropriate corrective action. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), breaches of under 500 affected individuals are reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...

OCR’s Phase Two HIPAA Audits Have Begun

Earlier this year, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the entity responsible for enforcing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), issued Pre-Audit Questionnaires to covered entities and business associates alike. These Questionnaires were used to develop separate "pools" of similarly situated entities from which OCR would randomly select and evaluate using both desk and on-site audits. On Monday July 11, 2016, 167 notifications were sent to covered entities,...

DOD Leads the Way in Telemedicine Expansion

In February the Assistant Secretary of Defense elected to allow Military Health System (MHS) providers to offer telemedicine services to patients in locations other than military health treatment facilities. With the intent to expand telemedicine, the Secretary authorized patients' homes as acceptable sites for the receipt of telemedicine services, if deemed appropriate by the treating physician. This expansion imposes two additional requirements on MHS providers. First, the provider must be...