HIPAA has a new Privacy Compliance and Enforcement website.

Thanks to the Health Care Law Blog for reporting on the new HIPPA Privacy Compliance and Enforcement website. Brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health, the HIPPA Privacy Compliance and Enforcement website describes, among other things, How OCR (the Office for Civil Rights) Enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Privacy Rule Enforcement Highlights, using case examples which are listed both by privacy rule issue, and by Covered Entity such as:
* Private Practices
* General Hospitals
* Outpatient Facilities
* Health Plans
* Pharmacies
For example, here is a glaring example of a violation by a pharmacy chain, and corrective action taken after notification:

A grocery store based pharmacy chain maintained pseudoephedrine log books containing protected health information in a manner so that individual protected health information was visible to the public at the pharmacy counter. Initially, the pharmacy chain refused to acknowledge that the log books contained protected health information. OCR issued a written analysis and a demand for compliance. Among other corrective actions to resolve the specific issues in the case, OCR required that the pharmacy chain implement national policies and procedures to safeguard the log books. Moreover, the entity was required to train of all staff on the revised policy. The chain acknowledged that log books contained protected health information and implemented the required changes.

The Department notes: “The Privacy Rule requires health plans, most health care providers and health care clearinghouses to comply with its standards. The rule is enforced by the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Enforcement of the Privacy Rule began April 14, 2003. Over the last four years, HHS enforcement has obtained significant change that has improved the privacy practices of covered entities through its enforcement program.”
Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies, representing medical doctors, allied health professionals and other clinicians, entrepreneurs, and institutions.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploration of legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, which follows Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).

Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen is licensed has been admitted to the Bar of California, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington D.C., and to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing).