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October 10, 2019

OCR Settles with Dental Practice Over Social Media Posts

On October 2, OCR announced a settlement with Elite Dental Associates, of Dallas, TX, (Elite) for disclosures that Elite made on social media. In 2016, OCR received a complaint from an Elite patient alleging that Elite had responded to a social media review by disclosing the patient’s last name and details of the patient’s health condition. OCR found that Elite had revealed PHI when it had responded to patient reviews on Yelp and didn’t have a Notice of Privacy Practices, or a policy related to social media disclosures. Elite agreed to pay OCR $10,000 and adopt a corrective action plan. OCR accepted a substantially reduced settlement amount in consideration of Elite’s size, financial circumstances, and cooperation with OCR’s investigation.