The deputy director for health information privacy at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights, Iliana Peters, as just announced that she is stepping down from the role. Peters only took over the role four months ago, following the departure of acting deputy director Deven McGraw in November. After only four months in the position, she has announced that she has departed for employment in Polsinelli, a private law firm.
This is the third major change of staff at the Department of Health and Human Services in a little over four months. The departure of HHS Secretary Tom Price was the first change, late in September 2017. Next came McGraw in November to join health tech startup Citizen, and now Iliana Peters has similarly quit for the private sector.
Peters has been working at the Office for Civil Rights for the past 12 years, the last 5 of which were spent as a senior advisor. During her time at OCR Peters has worked closely with regional offices helping them enforce HIPAA Rules. She has been instrumental in building up OCR’s HIPAA enforcement program.
Peters oversaw the training regional OCR staff on HIPAA enforcement, in addition to directly handling cases. Recently, she played a key role in OCR’s latest enforcement actions – the $3.5 million settlement with Fresenius Medical Care North America over five data breaches reported to OCR in 2012 and the $2.3 million settlement with 21st Century Oncology over its 2015 cyberattack.
Peters has also trained state attorneys general on HIPAA policies and played a key role in the development of OCR’s second phase of HIPAA compliance audits. Her career also saw her helping with the development of guidance for HIPAA covered entities on HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.
Her career has allowed to develop unparalleled expertise in the realm of HIPAA violations, which private sector organisations are keen to capitalise on. At Polsinelli, Peters will be using her expertise and will be helping healthcare organizations avoid HIPAA violations and OCR penalties.
Peters has become a shareholder at Polsinelli and will be based at its Health Care Operations practice in Washington D.C. According to a February 7 Polsinelli press release, Peters will be helping to develop the law firm’s healthcare presence in DC.
“Iliana brings key insights into the government’s investigation, enforcement, and settlement processes and will enhance our ability to guide our clients in responding to ever-changing threats and risks,” said Polsinelli Health Care Department Chair Matt Murer.
“We know that our clients look forward to having Iliana as a strategic member of their privacy and security teams.”
In light of her departure,Timothy Noonan, OCR’s southeast regional manager, was appointed as acting deputy director for health information privacy at OCR. Noonan has spent the past four years working as the Southeast regional manager and has served as acting associate deputy director for regional operations and OCR’s acting director for centralised case management operations.