The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently launched a pilot audit program as part of its HIPAA enforcement efforts. OCR intends to audit a range of HIPAA-covered entities and plans to use resulting audit reports to determine what types of technical assistance should be developed and what types of corrective action are most effective. Audits conducted during the pilot phase will conclude by December 2012. In addition to the audit program, OCR will continue to accept HIPAA-related complaints from individuals.
Every covered entity and business associate is eligible for an audit, including employers who are plan sponsors of a group health plan. OCR will audit as wide a range of types and sizes of covered entities as possible during the initial pilot. OCR has stated that business associates would be included in future audits.