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HIPAA Enforcement

HHS’ Office for Civil Rights is responsible for enforcing the Privacy and Security Rules. Enforcement of the Privacy Rule began April 14, 2003 for most HIPAA covered entities. Since 2003, OCR's enforcement activities have obtained significant results that have improved the privacy practices of covered entities.  The corrective actions obtained by OCR from covered entities have resulted in systemic change that has improved the privacy protection of health information for all individuals they serve.

HIPAA covered entities were required to comply with the Security Rule beginning on April 20, 2005. OCR became responsible for enforcing the Security Rule on July 27, 2009.

As a law enforcement agency, OCR does not generally release information to the public on current or potential investigations.

Enforcement Process

Learn how OCR enforces the Privacy and Security Rules and learn what OCR considers during its initial intake and review of a complaint. A flow diagram shows the HIPAA Complaint Process.

Enforcement Highlights

See a summary of OCR’s enforcement activities and up to date monthly results, including the number of cases in which corrective action was obtained, no violation was found, or other resolutions were achieved.

Enforcement Data

View our annual numbers of enforcement cases shown nationally and by state.

Case Examples and Resolution Agreements

View examples of the corrective actions OCR has obtained from covered entities.

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Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on July 25, 2017