Friday, May 13, 2011

OCR Updates Privacy/Security Enforcement Work

The HIPAA privacy rule has resulted in corrective actions being taken in more than 13,300 cases of alleged violations since the rule became effective in April 2003, says Susan McAndrew, deputy director for health information privacy in the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights.

Corrective action has often resulted in systemic changes being made at an offending organization, McAndrew told attendees at the federally sponsored Safeguarding Health Information conference in Washington. And OCR's insistence that organizations take corrective actions also has covered violations of the HIPAA security rule since the agency assumed enforcement duties in July 2009 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Under CMS, a large majority of security rule cases closed without corrective action-but now the large majority of closed cases include corrective action, McAndrew says.

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