CVS Pays $2.25 Million in HIPAA Settlement – A “New” Era of HIPAA Enforcement Begins

On February 18, 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) jointly announced that CVS Caremark Corp. (“CVS”) will pay the U.S. government $2.25 million to settle charges that it violated the privacy regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) and other federal laws. This settlement came at the conclusion of an extensive joint investigation by OCR and the FTC which found that CVS employees improperly disposed of items that contained protected health information (“PHI”).

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