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OCR's Mission and Vision


As the Department's civil rights and health privacy rights law enforcement agency, OCR investigates complaints, enforces rights, and promulgates regulations, develops policy and provides technical assistance and public education to ensure understanding of and compliance with non-discrimination and health information privacy laws, including:

  • Ensuring that the privacy practices of several million health care providers, plans, and clearinghouses adhere to Federal privacy requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Ensuring that the more than 245,000 recipients of Federal financial assistance comply with the nations civil rights laws.
  • Annually resolving more than 10,000 citizen complaints alleging discrimination or a violation of HIPAA
  • Annually certifying more than 2,000 new Medicare applications for compliance with the nation's civil rights laws.


Through investigations, voluntary dispute resolution, enforcement, technical assistance, policy development and information services, OCR will protect the civil rights of all individuals who are subject to discrimination in health and human services programs and protect the health information privacy rights of consumers.