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General Question for the Week of March 27, 2017


Which federal government department enforces the HIPAA rules? Can you provide examples of a violation?


The Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights enforces the HIPAA privacy, security, and breach-notification rules. Violations may result in civil monetary penalties. In some cases, criminal penalties enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice may apply.

The following are common noncompliance issues:

• Impermissible protected health information (PHI) uses and disclosures
• Lack of PHI safeguards
• Lack of patients’ access to their PHI
• Use or disclosure of more than the minimum necessary PHI
• Lack of administrative electronic PHI safeguards.

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