November 2021 HIPAA Settlements
After a few quiet months without a settlement, the Office of Civil Rights within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rounded out November with five new HIPAA Right of Access Settlements. As we’ve mentioned before, the Right of Access Initiative has been the focus of nearly every HIPAA settlement since early 2019.
Within HIPAA, specifically under the Right of Access Initiative, all individuals are given the right to receive access to their own health information in a timely and reasonable manner. The HHS has been extremely dedicated to this mission in the past few years, as maintaining access to this information helps to better health outcomes plus decrease healthcare costs in some cases.
Let’s quickly review each of the five settlements from November 2021:
Advanced Spine & Pain Management (ASPM)
As a result of a potential violation of HIPAA, Ohio-based Advanced Spine & Pain Management has agreed to pay $32,150 in their settlement with the HHS. In addition to the fine, ASPM will undergo 2 years of monitoring. All of these details and more can be read in the Corrective Action Plan.
Denver Retina Center
An ophthalmological provider in Colorado, Denver Retina Center, has reached a settlement with the HHS as a result of a potential violation of HIPAA. Denver Retina Center will submit to 2 years of monitoring plus a fine of $30,000 to complete the resolution.
Dr. Robert Glaser
A solo Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine Practitioner, Dr. Robert Glaser, reached a settlement with the HHS following repeated failures to comply with the Right of Access Initiative in a timely manner. Dr. Glaser’s office is responsible to pay $100,000 plus submit to two years of monitoring by the HHS.
Rainrock Treatment Center, LLC dba Monte Nido Rainrock (“Monte Nido”)
The next settlement reached this month was between the HHS and Rainrock Treatment Center, LLC dba Monte Nido Rainrock, or “Monte Nido” for short. Monte Nido, an Oregon-based eating disorder treatment center has agreed to pay $160,000 and undergo 2 years of monitoring by the HHS due to a potential HIPAA violation.
Wake Health Medical Group
Finally, a North Carolina primary care provider, Wake Health Medical Group, has reached a settlement with the HHS. This agreement includes their paying a $10,000 fine and submitting to 2 years of monitoring to ensure their compliance with the Right of Access Initiative moving forward.
As always, these HIPAA violations are a great reminder to all covered entities and business associates to check and double-check your HIPAA compliance practices. If any systems you are using or processes you have in place are not entirely compliant, then this is your reminder to update those. Specifically, November 2021 should serve as a reminder that the HHS takes the Right of Access very seriously and will continue to enforce this initiative regularly.
If you are overwhelmed or feeling lost in your efforts to reach and maintain HIPAA compliance, look no further! Accountable exists to make managing risk and compliance as simple as possible. Schedule a call today to see how we can help you respond to every access request in a timely manner, plus handle every other aspect of HIPAA.