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HHS' Office for Civil Rights reports $28.7M in payments for record HIPAA enforcement year

February 08, 2019 / Tina Reed

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights had a record year for settlements from its enforcement of the nation's largest healthcare privacy law. In 2018, OCR settled 10 cases and secured one judgment totaling $28.7 million in fines for healthcare provider and health-related companies' violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is 22% higher than the previous record of $23.5 million in 2016. That was due in part to the single largest HIPAA settlement in history of $16 million with Anthem Inc. The insurer agreed to pay HHS the settlement in October for a landmark 2015 breach that impacted nearly 79 million consumers. An investigation by OCR found that the insurance giant failed to conduct an enterprise-wide risk analysis, regularly review system activity or identify and respond to a known threat.