Fifth Circuit Decision Motivates Covered Entities to Appeal Unreasonable Enforcement Outcomes

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (the “Court”) vacated a $4,348,000 civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) imposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“HHS-OCR”) in 2017 against the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (“MD Anderson”) for alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule and HIPAA Security Rule. The Court held that OCR’s actions were “arbitrary, capricious, and otherwise unlawful” and remanded the case for further proceedings. While the case is not binding precedent outside the Fifth Circuit, MD Anderson is the first HIPAA Covered Entity to appeal its fine to a Circuit Court since the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule took effect. The ruling likely will motivate future HIPAA settlement negotiations with HHS-OCR and encourage HIPAA Covered Entities to appeal enforcement outcomes they consider unreasonable.

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$100,000 HIPAA Settlement With Solo Physician Practice

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Dr. Steven A. Porter, M.D., P.C. (Dr. Porter’s Practice) and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) entered into a $100,000 no-fault settlement agreement and two year corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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Ambulance Company Agrees to $65,000 OCR Settlement for HIPAA Noncompliance

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West Georgia Ambulance, Inc. (West Georgia) and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) entered into a $65,000 no-fault settlement agreement and two year corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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$1.6 Million Civil Money Penalty for HIPAA Breach Impacting 6,617 Individuals

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The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services imposed a $1.6 million civil money penalty (CMP) against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Department of Aging and Disability Services (HHSC) for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HHSC is a Texas state agency headquartered in Austin, Texas that is responsible for the delivery of benefits and services in Texas for several programs including Medicaid for families and children, long-term care for people who are older or who have disabilities, behavioral health services, and services for women and other people with special health needs.

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$3 Million OCR HIPAA Settlement Due to Lost Flash Drive and Stolen Laptop

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The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) entered into a $3 million no-fault settlement agreement and two year corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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$2.15 Million Civil Money Penalty for HIPAA Violations

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The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services imposed a $2,154,000 civil money penalty (CMP) against Jackson Health System (JHS) for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Security and Breach Notification Rules, stemming from various instances of noncompliance that occurred between 2013 and 2016.

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