Lynn Sessions

Lynn Sessions

BakerHostetler

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$2.75 Million OCR Settlement Underscores the Importance of Risk Management and Analysis

How the theft of a single password-protected laptop turned into an enterprise-wide review of an organization’s data protection practices. Following the announcement of a recent settlement between the U.S. Department of...more

8/19/2016 - Corporate Counsel Data Breach Data Security HHS HIPAA OCR PHI Risk Management Settlement

Business Associates in the Crosshairs: Catholic Health Care Services Settles for $650,000 for Failure to Safeguard PHI

Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CHCS) recently agreed to enter into a $650,000 resolution agreement and a two-year corrective action plan (CAP) with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). CHCS...more

7/8/2016 - Business Associates HIPAA OCR PHI Risk Management

OCR Clarifies “Reasonable, Cost-Based” Fee Calculations for Access to Medical Records

By couching its position in an individual’s right to access protected health information (PHI), beginning on January 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance to...more

6/10/2016 - HHS HIPAA OCR PHI

Ransomware Targets Healthcare Industry

Just four months into 2016, the healthcare industry is already facing a permanent and increasing threat to hospital operations: ransomware. Previously, BakerHostetler reported that Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital paid 40...more

4/11/2016 - Cybersecurity Health Care Providers Hospitals Malware Medical Records Ransomware

One Week, $5.45 Million in Resolution Agreements for HIPAA Violations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) continued its run of resolution agreements for HIPAA violations, pulling in $5.45 million from just two entities, North Memorial Health Care of...more

4/6/2016 - Data Breach Electronic Medical Records Health Care Providers HIPAA OCR PHI

Don’t Get Phished! Hackers Pose as CEOs to Steal Tax Information from HR and Payroll Professionals at Healthcare Organizations

Every tax season is plagued with scams to defraud individuals and companies for money from tax returns. However, this year has started off with a bang and this means that the healthcare industry has another reason to worry....more

3/14/2016 - Data Breach Email Hackers Health Care Providers Identity Theft IRS Phishing Scams Popular Spoofing Tax Fraud Tax Returns

ALJ Upholds OCR’s $239,800 CMP for Healthcare Provider

On January 13, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administrative Law Judge upheld the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR’s) civil monetary penalty (CMP) against Lincare, Inc., d/b/a United Medical (Lincare), for...more

2/16/2016 - ALJ Civil Monetary Penalty Health Care Providers HHS HIPAA OCR PHI

HHS Removes Barriers to Reporting Federal Mental Health Prohibitor Status for Gun Background Checks

On January 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a modification to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) removing barriers to reporting federal mental health...more

1/18/2016 - Background Checks Gun Laws HHS HIPAA NICS PHI

ALJ Issues Sweeping Decision Dismissing FTC’s Action Against LabMD

On November 13, 2015, the chief administrative law judge (“ALJ”) handling the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC” or “Commission”) complaint against LabMD Inc. (“LabMD”) dismissed the case in its entirety. As we previously...more

11/24/2015 - ALJ Data Breach Dismissals FTC LabMD Personal Data

OIG Emphasizes Proactive Enforcement of Privacy Rule and Monitoring of Repeat Offenders

The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) recently released Privacy Standards report assessed the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) oversight of covered entities’ compliance with the Privacy Rule as well as the extent to which...more

11/12/2015 - Audits Covered Entities HIPAA OCR OIG

OIG Emphasizes Proactive Enforcement of Privacy Rule and Monitoring of Repeat Offenders

The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) recently released Privacy Standards report assessed the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) oversight of covered entities’ compliance with the Privacy Rule as well as the extent to which...more

11/11/2015 - Healthcare HIPAA Medicare Part B PHI Privacy Rule

Meaningful Use Stage 3 Final Rule Reduces Provider Burdens

CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC) recently released the 752-page final rule for Meaningful Use Stages 2 (MU2) and 3 (MU3). The final rule provides a flexible timeline for providers...more

10/29/2015 - CMS Health Care Providers Healthcare Meaningful Use Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization (MACRA) ONC Reporting Requirements

HIPAA Fine Underscores OCR’s Focus on Physician Group Compliance

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced a $750,000 fine and resolution agreement, including a Corrective Action Plan (CAP), for Cancer Care Group, P.C. (CCG), a...more

10/14/2015 - Compliance Corporate Fines Corrective Actions Data Breach Data Protection Enforcement Actions Health Care Providers Healthcare HHS HIPAA OCR Personally Identifiable Information PHI Privacy Concerns Security Risk Assessments Security Rule

Deeper Dive: Healthcare Incidents Involving More Than 500 Individuals Are Investigated 100 Percent of the Time

We have released the inaugural BakerHostetler Data Security Incident Response Report, which provides insights generated from the review of more than 200 incidents that our attorneys advised on in 2014. The report confirms the...more

6/12/2015 - Attorney Generals Covered Entities Data Breach Electronic Medical Records Government Investigations Healthcare HHS HIPAA HITECH Medical Records OCR PHI

The BakerHostetler Data Security Incident Response Report 2015

The rate of disclosures of security incidents in 2015 continues at a pace that caused many to call 2013 and then 2014 “the year of the breach.” Most incidents are described publicly with attention-grabbing terms such as...more

5/13/2015 - Annual Reports Best Management Practices Cybersecurity Data Breach Data Protection Risk Assessment Risk Mitigation

FAQs by Employers Regarding the Anthem Breach

Do we have any legal obligations under HIPAA? It depends on your contractual relationship with Anthem and whether the group health plan offered by your company is self-insured. If your company’s group health plan is...more

2/9/2015 - Anthem Insurance Breach Notification Rule Corporate Counsel Data Breach Employer Group Health Plans Health Insurance HIPAA Personally Identifiable Information PHI Popular Self-Insured Health Plans

OCR Updates Breach Report Web Portal — Changes Could Impact Annual Breach Reports

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently launched an updated version of the portal covered entities must use to notify OCR regarding a breach of unsecured protected health...more

2/4/2015 - Breach Notification Rule Covered Entities HHS OCR PHI Websites

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

Medical Information More Valuable to Hackers Than Credit Card Numbers

In light of the recently reported large healthcare data breaches that have resulted in the potential theft of the personal information of millions of patients, the FBI warned healthcare providers yet again of the dangers of...more

10/20/2014 - Cyber Attacks Electronic Medical Records FBI Hackers Health Care Providers Hospitals Personally Identifiable Information PHI Physicians

Health System Pays $800,000 Fine for Leaving PHI in Doctor’s Driveway

While enforcement activity by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has focused primarily on a covered entity’s safeguard of electronic protected health information (ePHI),...more

6/27/2014 - Enforcement HHS HIPAA Medical Records OCR PHI

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

6/16/2014 - Data Protection Enforcement Enforcement Actions Healthcare HHS HIPAA

Proposed $6.8M Fine Related to Puerto Rico Breach Incident

Triple-S Salud, Inc. (“Triple-S”), a Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration (“PRHIA”) contractor, filed a Form 8-K indicating that the PRHIA intended to impose a civil monetary penalty of $6,768,000 and other...more

3/7/2014 - Data Breach EHR Fines Form 8-K Healthcare Medicare PHI

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

NICS and HIPAA: Where Mental Health Privacy and Gun Control Overlap; HHS Releases Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On January 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the purpose of modifying the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to...more

2/4/2014 - Criminal Background Checks Gun Laws Healthcare HHS HIPAA NICS

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

1/3/2014 - Civil Monetary Penalty EHR Healthcare HHS HIPAA HIPAA Omnibus Rule OCR PHI Privacy Laws Subcontractors

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