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Ebola Information Quarantine: Balancing Patient Privacy With Public Health

Of all the complex legal issues raised by the recent cases of Ebola in the U.S., those concerning the delicate balance between preserving patients’ privacy rights and the need to disseminate information to protect public...more

11/3/2014  /  Ebola , EHR , Healthcare , HIPAA , PHI , Right to Privacy

HHS Attorney: Major HIPAA Fines and Enforcement Coming

As regularly blogged about on the Data Privacy Monitor, the past 12 months have seen record-breaking HIPAA enforcement activity by HHS OCR. But according to recent remarks by a high-ranking HHS attorney, if you thought these...more

HHS Rule Grants Patients Direct Access to Lab Test Results

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published a Final Rule granting patients and their personal representatives access to the patient’s completed laboratory test reports directly from the lab...more

2/24/2014  /  CDC , CLIA , CMS , EHR , Healthcare , HHS , HIPAA , PHI

Healthcare Privacy – 2013 Year in Review

On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published the long-awaited HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule (Final Rule), which includes the most sweeping changes to HIPAA...more

Texas to Launch Nation's First Privacy and Security Certification "Safe Harbor"

The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) recently announced its selection of the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) Common Security Framework (CSF), the most widely adopted information privacy and security...more

Telemarketing: HIPAA Can Reverse the Charges Under the TCPA

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) generally limits automatically dialed and prerecorded telemarketing calls to wireless and residential phones. In the past, healthcare providers and other "advertisers" could rely...more

HIPAA Violation Results in $1.44 Million Jury Verdict Against Walgreens, Pharmacist

Although HIPAA does not create a private cause of action, a recent Indiana Superior Court jury verdict indicates that HIPAA could still play an important role in private causes of action in state court based on negligence and...more

Texas Bill Allows Doctors to Collect Patient Data by Swiping Driver's Licenses

The Texas Legislature recently approved S.B. 166, a bill that would allow healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses, dentists and others to collect and verify patient data by simply swiping a patient's driver's...more

HHS Considers Amending HIPAA Privacy Rule to Permit Disclosure of Mental Health Information for Firearm Background Checks

Adding yet another wrinkle to the nation’s contentious gun control debate, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) soliciting information and public...more

Personal Smartphones: A Ticking HIPAA/HITECH Time Bomb?

In this brave new world of health information privacy, many industry experts and healthcare organizations have emphasized the need to secure portable electronic devices such as laptops, issued to employees. But a recently...more

Can Covered Entities Utilize Text Messaging and Text Paging Without Violating HIPAA?

Text messaging allows healthcare providers to deliver simple, relevant, and customizable health information instantaneously to their patients, like reminders to obtain a vaccine, take a medication or come to an important...more

3/11/2013  /  Data Protection , HIPAA , PHI , Texting

Special Edition: Health Law Update - February 28, 2013

In This Issue: - A Baker's Dozen of Significant Changes From the HIPAA/HITECH Rule 1. Business Associates and Subcontractors 2. Breach Notification 3. Covered Entity Organizational Structures 4. Cloud...more

10 Fraud and Abuse Enforcement Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore in 2013

To paraphrase a famous quote, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it," and providers who ignore the significance of the federal government's healthcare fraud enforcements efforts in 2012 do so at their...more

HIPAA, Gun Control, and President Obama's Executive Actions: What You Need to Know

All of the excitement surrounding the publication of the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule may have overshadowed another very important development in health information privacy. On January 16, 2013, the Obama Administration released...more

OCR'S Breach Settlement: The First Ever Involving Less Than 500 Patients

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) started 2013 with a bang by announcing that it had reached "the first settlement involving a breach of unprotected electronic protected health information (ePHI) affecting fewer than 500...more

OCR's Breach Settlement the First Ever Involving Less than 500 Patients

OCR started 2013 with a bang by announcing that it had reached “the first settlement involving a breach of unprotected electronic protected health information (ePHI) affecting fewer than 500 individuals” with the Hospice of...more

OCR Releases De-Identification Guidance

The HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently released guidance intended to assist covered entities in understanding what de-identification is, the general process by which de-identified information can be created, and the...more

12/12/2012  /  De-Identification , HHS , HIPAA , OCR , Safe Harbors
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