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HIPAA Civil Penalty Annual Limits Plummet

Recognizing that different levels of culpability warrant different annual civil penalty limits, the Department of Health and Human Services adopted a notification April 23, 2019, to be published in the Federal Register April 30, 2019, that reduces the majority of the caps on annual civil penalties.  See45 C.F.R. Part. 160.

The table below shows the differences:

Culpability Old Annual Limit New Annual Limit
No Knowledge $1,500,000 $25,000
Reasonable Cause $1,500,000 $100,000
Willful Neglect – Corrected $1,500,000 $250,000
Willful Neglect – Not Corrected $1,500,000 $1,500,000

In our experience, clients rarely, if ever, fall into the last category.  And even if clients are at risk of having been willfully neglectful in violating HIPAA, the new penalty limits add to the incentives for those clients to correct problems that led to the potential violations before potential scrutiny by the Office of Civil Rights.  That ounce of prevention could lead to $1,250,000 of cure.

© 2019 Vedder Price


About this Author

Blaine C. Kimrey, media defense Litigation, Vedder Price Law Firm Chicago Office

Blaine C. Kimrey is a Shareholder in the Litigation practice area in the firm’s Chicago office.

A former journalist at two daily newspapers (the Austin American-Statesman and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette), Mr. Kimrey is a trial lawyer who has dedicated more than 20 years to working for and defending media entities. Mr. Kimrey’s practice, however, extends well beyond media defense, focusing on a broad range of direct and class action litigation involving topics as diverse as privacy, consumer deception, intellectual property,...

312-609 7865
Bryan Clark Media & Privacy Law  litigation Vedder Price Law Firm Chicago

Bryan Clark is an Associate at Vedder Price and a member of the Litigation group in the firm’s Chicago office.  He has an extensive media and privacy practice that includes privacy class action defense, mobile-marketing litigation, class action TCPA litigation, copyright litigation, right of publicity litigation, data breach response, FOIA issues, reporter’s privilege issues and prepublication review.

Mr. Clark’s other representative work includes drafting successful dispositive motions in right of publicity and invasion of privacy cases, arguing successful motions to quash on behalf of media entities facing subpoenas, defeating motions for preliminary injunction in intellectual property litigation, and advising advertising and marketing clients on compliance issues. He presents on issues related to digital privacy and data breach before a national audience, such as the ABA Annual Meeting in 2013.

Mr. Clark is a member of the Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois and has first-chair trial experience in federal court. As a litigator, Mr. Clark has been involved in a broad range of matters in addition to media and privacy, including topics as diverse as loan enforcement and foreclosure, consumer fraud, environmental, construction, and insurance law. He also has handled a variety of pro bono engagements, including work for nonprofit media entities, representation of an Illinois prisoner with multiple sclerosis, and Section 1983 civil rights litigation

312-609 7810
Caitlin C. Podbielski, Vedder Price Law Firm, Health Care Attorney

Caitlin C. Podbielski, an Associate in the Chicago office of Vedder Price, counsels health care and association clients on a variety of issues, including state provider licensing law, federal health care program regulations, patient privacy laws and private party contracting. In addition, Ms. Podbielski advises a variety of clients on issues relating to federal income tax exemption, including eligibility for exemption and the application process, fund-raising and annual filings to the Internal Revenue Service. Ms. Podbielski has recently worked on the dissolution of a public charity,...