Health Care Counsel

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Health Care Counsel

From the Source: Senior Advisor Provides Valuable Insight Into Office For Civil Rights’ Plans

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From the Source: Senior Advisor Provides Valuable Insight Into Office For Civil Rights’ Plans

On March 27, 2017, Rachel Yount attended the Health Care Compliance Association’s Compliance Institute 2017, where Illiana Peters, a senior advisor at Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), provided an “OCR Enforcement Update.”

Peters gave an overview of recent guidance issued by the OCR, including a guide to help cloud service providers understand their Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) obligations and a guide developed to help providers and business associates understand and better respond to the threat of ransomware. Providers should be on the lookout for a ton of upcoming guidance from OCR on such topics as text messaging, social media, and use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology. The OCR will also update existing Frequently Asked Questions to account for Omnibus and other recent developments. Additionally, Peters addressed current trends in HIPAA enforcement, including lessons learned from settlement agreement cases and latest statistics on breaches reported to the OCR. As of February 28, 2017, 18% of HIPAA breaches reports are for breaches involving the use of laptops, 16% for breaches related to network servers, and 9% for breaches involving email.

Peters’s OCR update comes a week after President Trump appointed Roger Severino as the new Director of the OCR. Severino previously served as the Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society in the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. 

Arent Fox’s Health Care Group regularly monitors speeches and appearances by government officials for valuable insights into compliance with HIPAA and other healthcare laws and regulations.  Arent Fox attorneys also assist clients with conducting risk analyses, strengthening their HIPAA compliance programs, investigating and reporting breaches of unsecured protected health information, and responding to OCR investigations. If you have any questions or need assistance on the topic covered here, please contact Jade Kelly in our San Francisco office, Stephanie TrunkRachel Yount, Douglas Grimm, and Samuel Cohen in our Washington, DC office, Lowell Brown and Thomas Jeffry in our Los Angeles office, or the Arent Fox professional who normally handles your matters.

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