The recent Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) resolution with Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the state Medicaid agency (“Alaska Medicaid”), which includes the payment by Alaska Medicaid to HHS of $1.7 million respecting possible violations of HIPAA, raises questions as to the exacting of payments by HHS from a state agency that funds medical care for the Alaska indigent from taxpayers.
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To avoid becoming marchers in the Breach Parade, covered entities and business associates should be aware of tools being used by the federal Office of Civil Rights and State Attorneys General to deter and catch HIPAA privacy and security breaches that may be similar to the red light cameras designed to deter and catch traffic violations.
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Do you think a two-physician cardiology group is too small for the feds to fine for  alleged HIPAA violations? Phoenix Cardiac Surgery, P.C.  (PCS) has learned otherwise the hard way, to the tune of $100,000. As this blog has noted, almost all enforcement to date has been against large insurers or major hospitals and not community hospitals or physician

In a press release dated July 27, 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a settlment under which Rite Aid Corporation and its affiliates have agreed to pay $1 million to settle potential HIPAA violations.   The pharmacy chain also entered into a consent order with the Federal Trade Commission.

HHS reports that the