The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") filed a Notice of Enforcement Decision (the "Notice of Enforcement") on April 26, 2019, confirming the agency's reconsideration of its prior interpretation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act's (the "HITECH Act's") penalty structure. Effective immediately, the maximum penalty that the HHS Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") will impose for a particular violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") that occur within a single calendar year has been generally, and significantly reduced. The revised penalty structure reinforces the notion that prospective HIPAA compliance efforts can have a significant monetary impact in terms of future enforcement.
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