Government to step up HIPAA enforcement, release new compliance tools

Share this article:

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will expand Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act enforcement efforts in the next two years, according to OCR Director Leon Rodriguez.

Speaking at the National HIPAA Summit in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Rodriguez said his office would spearhead a federal effort to enforce the omnibus HIPAA rule issued Jan. 25. While the original HIPAA law was passed in 1996, the updated rule takes effect March 26. Enforcement will begin after the Sept. 23 compliance deadline.

OCR will not focus its attention on particular types of healthcare providers, but will concentrate on those that have “long-standing patterns of noncompliance,” Rodriguez said. The agency will also look carefully at violations related to data breaches from unsecured mobile devices.

Nursing home operators and other healthcare providers will be able to refer to online compliance resources that will be posted before the omnibus rule takes effect next month, OCR Deputy Director of Health Information Privacy Susan McAndrew said in her speech at the summit.

Share this article:

More in News

A small team of workers responds best in emergencies, expert says

A small team of workers responds best in ...

Long-term care providers should consider a "flat" crisis management approach that relies on a core group of staff members, experts advised Wednesday at the LeadingAge annual conference.

Nursing homes have better pain and catheter management if leaders have more ...

Nursing homes led by administrators and directors of nursing with higher levels of education and certification have better outcomes on some key quality measures, according to recently published findings.

Court green-lights charges that a healthcare network underused observation stays

A whistleblower can continue to pursue charges that a Nevada healthcare network routinely admitted people as hospital inpatients when they should have been placed in observation status, a federal appeals court recently ruled.