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Increased Scrutiny of Social Media Postings For HIPAA Compliance Likely

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) recently sent a letter to the Department of Human Services' Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which enforces HIPAA, citing his concerns for the apparently growing number of instances where nursing home employees have posted inappropriate pictures and videos of residents on social media platforms. Questioning how OCR is addressing this issue, Sen. Carper specifically instructed OCR to report on the number of complaints received on these incidents, any investigations undertaken, and the penalties levied. Senator Carper also requested details on OCR's plans to issue guidance to covered entities on social media mattes as they relate to HIPAA, and whether it has engaged in any discussions with CMS in conjunction with the proposed revisions to the Requirements of Participation for long term care facilities.

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