On Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a $125,000 settlement with a three-physician allergy practice in Connecticut for HIPAA Privacy Rule violations.  According to OCR’s press release and corrective action plan, a physician responded to a reporter’s questions about the allergy practice turning away a patient with a service animal.  While the allergy practice had HIPAA policies and procedures in place, the involved physician did not adhere to the policies.  Further, once OCR uncovered the issue, it also found that the practice failed to sanction the involved physician in accordance with its policies. Continue Reading Six-Figure OCR Settlement for Three-Physician Practice Failing to Follow Policies

Yesterday, DHHS’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a $100,000 settlement with a dissolved medical records moving and storage company in Illinois.  This is another example of OCR bringing enforcement actions against a business associate under HIPAA.  OCR investigated a complaint that the business associate brought medical records to a shredding and recycling facility in exchange for cash.  According to OCR, it confirmed that the business associate violated the HIPAA Privacy Rule when it left the medical records of approximately 2,150 people at the shredding and recycling facility.  Due to other legal troubles, a court had already forced the business associate to liquidate its assets and appointed a receiver to pay its debts.  The receiver agreed to pay the $100,000 settlement and to ensure that the storage and disposal of the remaining medical records would be in compliance with HIPAA.

Read a copy of the Resolution Agreement here.