The Florida Bar Health Law Section recently released its September-October 2015 Health Law Update which contained an article published by Panza Maurer Associate, Jamie B. Gelfman. Jamie’s article, located in the Health Information Technology section, was entitled “DHHS Office for Civil Rights Confirms Second Phase of HIPAA Compliance Audits to Commence Early 2016.”
In particular, the article highlights the OIG’s recent criticism of the OCR with respect to its enforcement and oversight of covered entities’ compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The article details the findings of the OIG’s September 2015 report, which concluded that the OCR had failed to adequately implement the required audit program mandated under Section 13411 of the HITECH Act, and that the OCR’s oversight activities were primarily reactive in investigating possible HIPAA noncompliance. As a result, and as further explained in the article, the Director of the OCR announced that the second phase of OCR audits will commence in early 2016, which will focus, among other areas, on high-risk areas to the security of protected health information and on pervasive non-compliance based upon findings of the OCR’s first phase of audits.