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Privacy Law Blog

Tag Archives: HHS

HHS Empowers Consumers to Know (and Enforce) their Rights Under HIPAA

Posted in Electronic Communications, HIPAA, Medical Privacy

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published on its website a series of factsheets designed to educate consumers unfamiliar with their rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules.  These four factsheets are described in detail below and are available in… Continue Reading

Sanctions for Lazy Disposal Require Drug Store Chain to Re-”Rite” its Data Security Policies and Procedures

Posted in Data Privacy Laws

Rite Aid has agreed to pay $1 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) by pitching pill bottles and prescription information into publicly accessible dumpsters near Rite Aid stores. According to HHS’ resolution agreement, released on July 27, Rite Aid must implement a three-year corrective action program, which includes the adoption of revised policies and procedures concerning the disposal of sensitive health-related information, employee training programs and procedures and penalties for employees that fail to comply with them. Rite Aid also entered into a separate, but related settlement with the FTC to resolve allegations that the company failed to live up to promises made in its privacy policy.

Decrypting HHS Guidance on Breach Notification and Security under the HITECH Act: NIST, FIPS, and More

Posted in Medical Privacy, Security Breach Notification Laws

Two months after Congress mandated notification for the breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI), the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) defined what it means to be “unsecured.” As required by Section 13402 of the HITECH Act, H.R. 1, 111th Cong. (1st Sess. 2009) (which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), the Secretary issued guidance and a request for comments on the technologies and methodologies rendering information unusable, unreadable or indecipherable. 74 Fed. Reg. 19006 (Apr. 27, 2009) (to be codified at 45 C.F.R. pts. 160, 164).