Tag Archives: Office of Civil Rights (OCR)

HHS Creates Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within OCR

On January 18, 2018, HHS announced it has established a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  The Division will focus on enforcement of (1) existing protections for health care providers who refuse to perform certain health care services on religious or moral grounds, and (2) laws that … Continue Reading

OCR Plans to More Widely Investigate HIPAA Breaches Affecting Fewer than 500 Individuals

This month the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has launched an initiative “to more widely investigate the root causes” of HIPAA breaches affecting fewer than 500 individuals, according to an August 18, 2016 OCR email announcement. While Regional Offices will retain discretion to prioritize investigation of smaller breaches, each office is directed to “increase … Continue Reading

HHS Office of Civil Rights Releases Guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities Using the Minimum Data Set to Facilitate Opportunities to Live in the Most Integrated Setting

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued new guidance to help long-term care facilities comply with anti-discrimination obligations when they administer the Minimum Data Set (MDS) patient assessment tool so that the facilities’ residents receive care in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. Those … Continue Reading

OCR Releases Ebola Bulletin

The recent Ebola outbreak has prompted the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to release a new bulletin for covered entities and business associates regarding their privacy obligations under HIPAA in emergency situations. The bulletin, “HIPAA Privacy In Emergency Situations,” provides an overview of the limited ways in which covered entities and business associates may … Continue Reading

HHS Seeks Comments on ACA Provision Preventing Discrimination in Certain Health Programs, Activities

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has published a notice requesting information to inform implementation of section 1557 of the ACA, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability under certain health programs or activities. The provision applies broadly to any health program or activity that is … Continue Reading

HHS Releases Enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health Care, Highlights Compliance Efforts

HHS has released enhanced “National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care,” which is a series of guidelines to inform and facilitate practices related to culturally and linguistically appropriate health services. The 15 standards, which were developed by the HHS Office of Minority Health, comprehensively update earlier national standards released … Continue Reading

The HITECH Final Rule: New Privacy/Security Rules of the Road Finally Here

This post was also written by Elizabeth D. O’Brien. On January 25, 2013, the HHS Office for Civil Rights published its long-awaited final rule implementing major changes to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Breach Notification, and Enforcement Rules mandated by the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). Among other things, the … Continue Reading
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