Privacy Experts: $4.3M OCR Penalty Sends Strong Message
HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—U.S.February 23, 2011
Privacy experts and patient rights advocates are hailing a decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to impose a civil monetary penalty of $4.3 million against Maryland-based Cignet Health for violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. In a Daily Dashboard exclusive, three experts in their fields discuss this first penalty of its kind for such HIPAA privacy violations. As Kirk Nahra, CIPP, of Wiley Rein LLP put it, "This is the biggest HIPAA enforcement action that has been taken to date and may signal a new enforcement approach...HHS has shown itself to be very reasonable in addressing its HIPAA investigations so far, but it's clearly a really bad idea to ignore or not cooperate with an investigation."