PWW’s Live Update - HIPAA Summit in DC

PWW’s resident “HIPAA guru” Ryan Stark is in Washington, DC at the National HIPAA Summit.  Here’s a live update:

New OCR Director

Newly minted (just appointed 3/27/17) Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Roger Severino, spoke first.  The chief HIPAA cop made it clear that the push for enforcement will continue under the Trump administration.  The government has tallied around $60 million in penalties to date!

Insight From OCR for 2017

Two top OCR officials also revealed some interesting nuggets:

  • The focus is on cyber-attacks in 2017 - think ransomware.  Small healthcare agencies -  like EMS - are at high risk, and they need to have a cyber plan.
  • While OCR focuses on breach reports, complaints will get you investigated as well.  OCR handles and average of 17,000 complaints a year! Several EMS agencies were investigated because of complaints recently.    
  • “It’s not a matter of if you’re going to have a breach, it’s when.”  Direct quote from OCR.  You need to have a breach reporting system because a mobile EMS environment means HIPAA breaches. 
  • OCR is cracking down on disclosures to the news media. They penalized New York Presbyterian Hospital $2.2 million for news media disclosures. 
  • Business associates beware!  OCR is coming with audits and investigations in 2017.

Find Out Much More

OCR gave tons of tips for small healthcare providers, and foreshadowed new HIPAA rules and guidance.  PWW will be revealing all of it in the abc360 Privacy Update in St. Louis and Clearwater Beach

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