Enforcement activity by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) showed no signs of slowing throughout 2018. The more significant actions by OCR last year include the following:

  • OCR announced its largest monetary settlement to date.
  • The agency recouped a total of $28.7 million from 10 reported enforcement actions.
  • An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) granted summary judgment in OCR’s favor, upholding remedies it had imposed on a Texas hospital.
  • OCR released new guidance and a downloadable tool to assist covered entities and business associates in conducting a security risk assessment.
  • As part of HHS’s Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care, it issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking comment on potential modifications to the HIPAA rules to allow for improved care coordination through the sharing of patient information.

Overall, last year’s activity demonstrates OCR’s continued emphasis on ensuring compliance with, and enforcing sanctions for violations of, the HIPAA security rule, alongside emerging initiatives to amend and/or clarify aspects of the HIPAA privacy rule.

Download a copy of our Latest HIPAA Compliance & Enforcement Trends, which covers recent government enforcement actions, how cyber threats will continue to impact compliance risks within the healthcare industry, and the most significant OCR settlements of 2018.