Howard Anderson, Executive Editor over at HealthcareInfoSecurity.com had an insightful interview with Leon Rodriguez, the new director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights.
Rodriquez a former prosecutor and defense lawyer talks about his priorities as the head of OCR. He states:
Making enforcement a priority (because) enforcement promotes compliance
When asked about the new HIPAA audits he gave the following insight:
Because this is the first time the office is conducting audits, the effort amounts to a pilot, Rodriguez says. As a result, he’ll be reviewing
how an audit program best advances our enforcement goals.
Rodriquez also said one of the goals of the audits was to:
Promote compliance among the covered entities
He explains his expectations for the audits:
Our first objective is not to go out there and start banging [organizations] with penalties; it’s really to take a good look at them, find out where their opportunities for improvement are and help them improve. Having said that, I think we know that there are cases where we’re going to find some significant vulnerabilities and weaknesses. And in those cases, we may be pursuing significant corrective action. And in some of those cases, we may be actually pursuing civil monetary penalties. But that’s really not the primary goal of the audit program.