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Office for Civil Rights News Archive

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Alaska DHSS Settles HIPAA Security Case for $1,700,000 - 6/26/12

HHS settles with Phoenix Cardiac Surgery - 4/17/12

Simsbury, CT Agrees to Modify ADA Policy for Summer Camp - 4/16/12

HHS settles HIPAA case with BCBST for $1.5 million - 3/13/12

Settlement agreement reached with Advanced Dialysis Centers - 2/17/12


East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System to Ensure Effective Communication with Deaf or Hard of Hearing Patients – 12/08/11

HHS Office for Civil Rights Enforces Section 504 and the ADA – 10/18/11

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Amend CLIA and the HIPAA Privacy Rule – 9/14/11

Leon Rodriguez is appointed Director of HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) – 9/13/11

UCLA Health System Settles Potential HIPAA Privacy and Security Violations – 7/7/11

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Implement HITECH Act Modifications – 7/14/11

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for HIPAA Privacy Rule Accounting of Disclosures under HITECH

Mass General Hospital Settles Potential HIPAA Violations

HHS Imposes a $4.3M Civil Money Penalty for HIPAA Privacy Rule Violations

HHS issues new regulation to enforce Federal Health Care Provider Conscience Rights

Voluntary Resolution Agreement Signed Rhode Island DHS

Press release about agreement with RI DHS – 01/21/11


UPMC agrees to expand access to care after closure of UPMC Braddock

Breach Notification Final Rule Update - 7/28/10

Resolution Agreement with Rite Aid Corporation - 7/27/10

Remarks by President Obama on 20th Anniversary of the ADA -7/26/10 (

Secretary Sebelius announces $2.25 billion in grants in honor of the 20th anniversary of the ADA -7/26/10

ADA Guidance on Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities

Risk Analysis Final Guidance - 7/14/10

Ramapo Manor Center for Rehab & Nursing (NY) Signs Settlement Agreement

Resolution Agreement with WA State to Ensure Equal Access to Child Protective & Welfare Services -7/7/10

HITECH Accounting of Disclosures Request for Information - 5/03/10

Race and Disability Discrimination Complaints in Wisconsin TANF Program to be Resolved by Statewide Agreement 

Windsor Rosewood Care Center in Contra Costa County (CA) Signs Agreement - 3/23/2010

Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania Signs Settlement Agreement

University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics Signs Resolution Agreement

Florida Department of Children and Families Signs Settlement Agreement  



Patient Safety Rule Penalty Inflation Adjustment Effective - 11/23/09

OCR & The Joint Commission Team Up in Language Access Education Effort

HITECH Enforcement Interim Final Rule - 10/29/09

Resolution Agreement between OCR & Montgomery County Department of Social Services,NY

GINA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - 10/1/09

Resolution Agreement between OCR & Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute, MD

Settlement Agreement between OCR & Fort Washington Medical Center, MD

Patient Safety Rule Penalty Inflation Adjustment - 8/25/09

HITECH Breach Notification Interim Final Rule - 8/19/09

Regional Office Privacy Advisors - 8/14/09

Secretary Delegates HIPAA Security Rule to OCR

Statement by HHS Secretary Sebelius On U.S. Signing of UN Treaty on Rights of Persons with Disabilities - 7/30/09 

Statement by HHS Secretary Sebelius On the 10th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Decision Olmsteadv. L.C. -6/22/09

Corrective Action by Medco Health Solutions, Inc

Resolution Agreement between OCR & Washington DSHS -5/21/09

Settlement Agreement between OCR, Alaska DHSS, & Anchorage Pioneer Home

HITECH Breach Notification Guidance and Request for Public Comment

Notice on Civil Rights Obligations Applicable to the Distribution of Funds under ARRA  

Resolution Agreement with CVS Pharmacy, Inc

HIPAA & Disposal of Protected Health Information FAQs - 2/18/09

HIPAA and Family Medical History FAQs



HIPAA & Health Information Technology Guidance - 12/15/2008

HHS/ED Joint Guidance on the Application of FERPA and HIPAA to Student Health Records - 11/25/08

Voluntary Resolution Agreement signed with NY Schenectady County Department of Social Services - 11/18/08

State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (serving a state population of more than 1.2 million) signs statewide Settlement Agreement to ensure limited English proficient persons receive equal access to its programs and services.

HIPAA Privacy Guides to Communications with Family, Friends, and Others Involved in a Patient's Care - 9/16/08

State of Georgia signs statewide Olmstead Settlement Agreement to ensure individuals with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.  - 7/1/2008  

New OCR Success Stories: Olmstead / New Freedom Initiative /Community Integration for Persons with Disabilities. -  7/1/2008

HHS and Providence Health & Services enter Resolution Agreement - 7/15/08

Recent Civil Rights Complaint Resolutions:

New Patient Safety Proposed Regulation Aims to Improve Health Care Quality and Patient Safety - 02/12/08



OCR and the Administration for Children and Families jointly develop civil rights Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - 9/27/07

OCR posts summary of a comprehensive compliance agreement with SC to ensure compliance with nondiscrimination laws in adoption and foster care activities - 9/24/07

Delegation of Subpoena Authority - 4/16/07 (

OCR Announces New Initiative to Assist Hospitals in Communicating with People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Limited English Proficient - 3/6/07

OCR resolution agreement ensures that people with learning disabilities have equal access to participate in and benefit from Massachusetts’ Employment Services Program. - 1/16/07


OCR launches new web pages on effective communication in hospitals- 12/21/06

OCR updates Report of Success in Facilitation the Community Integration of People with Disabilities with cases from the following states:

  • New Jersey: New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Disability Services (OCR Docket: # 05-37926 & # 05-35716)
  • Maryland: Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (OCR Docket # 99-06827)
  • West Virginia: West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services(OCR Docket # 04-26731)
  • Washington: Washington Department of Social and Health Services (OCR Docket # 02-01413) - 9/27/06

DOJ Emergency Preparedness ADA Guide for Local Governments - 8/18/06 (

Emergency Preparedness Planning and Response - 6/27/06

OCR Promising Practices: Grassroots Outreach Efforts to Reach African American Communities about Health Disparities, Race Discrimination, and Title VI - 6/12/06

OCR granted authority to enforce confidentiality protections of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 Delegation of Authority - 5/19/06

OCR produces new brochures - Protecting Your Civil Rights in Health Care" and "Social Services and Your Health Information Privacy Rights" - 4/17/06

Updated Version of HIPAA Administrative Simplification Regulation Text - 4/5/06 (PDF -101 pages)

Final Enforcement Rule Published - 2/16/06 (PDF - 300KB)


Hurricane Katrina Bulletin #2: Compliance Guidance and Enforcement Statement - 9/9/05

Bulletin: Disclosing PHI in Emergency Situations - 9/2/05

Surgeon's Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness of Persons with Disabilities - [7/26/05]

What's New - OCR Updates Report of Success in Facilitating the Community Integration of People with Disabilities - [7/20/05]

  • OCR has released an updated version of "Delivering on the Promise: OCR's Compliance Activities Promote Community Integration." This document summarizes the satisfactory resolution of complaints filed with OCR on or on behalf of approximately 250 individuals with disabilities. These complaints alleged that individuals were denied the opportunity to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. OCR is producing this document in accord with HHS' response to President Bush's Executive Order 13217, Community-Based Alternatives for People with Disabilities, and HHS' commitment to broadly disseminate individual accounts of how civil rights compliance activities have facilitated community integration. (See Delivering on the Promise, HHS' Report to the President on Executive Order 13217)

OCR adds new HIV/AIDS resource pages - 5/16/05

Proposed Enforcement Rule Published - 4/18/05 (PDF - 258KB)

HUD issues Notice providing guidance on initiatives to assist housing search of families with a person with disabilities - 2/1/05 (PDF - 65.9KB) (



LEP Know Your Rights Beneficiary Brochure:

Expiration Date for CMP Procedures Rule Extended to September 2005 - 9/16/04 [PDF- 48KB]

New Consumer Fact Sheets

CMS State Medicaid Directors Letter on "Money Follows the Person" - 8/17/04

OCR enters into agreement on TANF and disability issues with Oregon Department of Human Services- 8/6/04

Executive Order 13447: Individuals with Disabilities in Emergency Preparedness- 7/26/04

OCR and ACF enter into agreement with State of Ohio and Hamilton County, Ohio regarding nondiscrimination on the basis of race in adoption and foster care - 7/21/04  SummaryAgreementLetter of Finding - 10/20/03

Fortieth Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 "Remembering the Past, Moving Forward" – 7/13/04

40th Anniversary Commemoration of the Civil Rights Act of 1964- 7/13/04

Statement by Tommy G. Thompson Secretary of Health and Human Services Regarding the 14th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act – 7/2/04

Using OCR resources to fight myths about the Privacy Rule - 5/18/04


Federal Register Notice: Comment Period for revised LEP Guidance extended to January 6, 2004 [PDF- 1 page] - 12/16/2003

OCR issues Letter of Findings regarding Hamilton County, Ohio and the State of Ohio, finding discrimination on the basis of race in foster and adoption care - Director's Statement (PDF-60 pages) - 10/21/2003 / OCR Letter of Findings - [PDF] Note: the Letter of Findings uses pseudonyms to protect personal privacy

Federal Register Correction: Deadline for comments on revised LEP guidance is December 8, 2003- 9/30/03

OCR and ACF disseminate self-assessment tool to facilitate non-discrimination in foster care and adoption - 8/5/03

OCR issues caution about misleading marketing on HIPAA training - 8/4/03

How to File a Privacy Complaint Fact Sheet and Privacy Complaint Form posted in Spanish/en Espanol - 4/29/03

Interim Final Rule: Civil Money Penalties: Procedures for Investigations, Imposition of Penalties, and Hearings [PDF] - 4/17/03

Privacy Guidance about Authorizations for Research and Institutional Review Boards (PDF-2 pages) - 4/15/03

Protecting the Privacy of Patients' Health Information Fact Sheet - 4/14/03

OCR posts Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule- 4/11/03

Statement by Tommy G. Thompson Secretary of Health and Human Services Regarding New Federal Privacy Regulations  - 04/11/03

CDC and HHS issue guidance about the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Public Health (CDC) - 4/11/03

OCR has released a new document, "Delivering on the Promise: OCR's Compliance Activities Promote Community Integration," summarizing the satisfactory resolution of more than 100 "most integrated setting" complaints filed with OCR by individuals with disabilities. OCR is producing this document in accord with HHS' commitment to broadly disseminate individual accounts of how civil rights activities have facilitated the community integration of people with disabilities - March 28, 2003

Notice of Addresses for Submission of HIPAA Privacy Complaints published in Federal Register (PDF-2 pages) - 3/20/03

Notice of Address for Submission of Requests for Preemption Exception Determination published in Federal Register (PDF-2 pages) - 3/11/03

HHS adopts final security standards for protecting individually identifiable health information when it is maintained or transmitted electronically by health plans, certain health care providers, and health care clearinghouses.

Press release on final security standards for HIPAA - 2/13/03


OCR Guidance Explaining Significant Aspects of the HIPAA Privacy Rule - 12/4/02

Complete Regulation Text for the Privacy Rule (Parts 160 and 164), as modified 5/31/02 and 8/14/02 (PDF-55 pages) - 10/8/02

Final Modifications to the Privacy Rule, Federal Register (PDF-93 pages) - 8/14/02

HHS Final Changes to Privacy Rule that Protect Privacy, Access to Care.  HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson issues final changes to HHS' health privacy regulations to ensure strong privacy protections while correcting unintended consequences that threatened patients' access to quality health care - 8/9/02

HHS Deputy Secretary Claude A. Allen Testifies Before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on the Proposed Modifications to the Privacy Rule. Read Deputy Secretary Allen’s testimony. - 4/16/02

Delivering on the Promise: Compilation of Individual Federal Agency Reports of Actions to Eliminate Barriers and Promote Community Integration - 3/25/02



HHS Issues First Guidance on New Patient Privacy Protections - 7/6/01

Statement by Secretary Tommy G. Thompson Regarding the Patient Privacy Rule - 4/12/01

Press Release on Effective Date Delay and 30-Day Public Comment Period  - 2/23/01



HHS Announces Final Regulation Establishing First-Ever National Standards to Protect Patients' Personal Medical Records  - 12/20/00

Remarks by the President on Medical Privacy - 12/20/00