HHS updates HIPAA enforcement

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has resolved 68,896 HIPAA complaints out of 75,474 filed, or 91 percent of all complaints, since HIPAA went into effect in April 2003.

More than 18,000 complaints resulted in enforcement requiring national pharmacy chains, major medical centers, group health plans, hospital chains and small provider offices to make changes to their privacy practices, according to a Nov. 7 HIPAA enforcement highlights update. The OCR and HHS determined that no violation had occurred in 8,800 cases and that 41,974 complaints were not eligible for enforcement, due to lack of jurisdiction, timeliness or absence of evidence that a rule had been violated. There were 242 open HIPAA complaints as of Oct. 31.