Confusion Reigns in Determining HIPAA Requirements for Group Health Plans and their Plan Sponsors

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Group Health Plans (“GHPs”) have a lot of regulations with which to comply:  ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act), MHPA (the Mental Health Parity Act), Newborns’ Act (the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act), WHCRA (the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act) and HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).  And while HIPAA isn’t new, there is certainly a renewed energy around enforcement.  After all, fines, penalties and settlement dollars associated with HIPAA violations go back into the coffers of the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) for more enforcement activities in a year when government budgets are tight.  Therefore, there is reason to believe that OCR will continue to step up enforcement activities significantly in 2015 and beyond.