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Class Certification Improper in Data Breach Case, PA Appellate Court Finds

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a trial court's decision denying class certification in a data breach case against two health plans, reversing its own earlier ruling in the same case that the plaintiff did not...more

Employee Benefit Plans and Data Security Issues

In recent weeks, much of the discussion around a recent Supreme Court case, Gobeille, has focused on ERISA preemption. But for fiduciaries of benefit plans the case can serve as a reminder of important duties that often go...more

Health Care Advisory: Georgia Hospitals Can Close the Door on Open Records Requests

In a closely watched case, the Georgia Court of Appeals, in Smith v. Northside Hospital, Inc., affirmed the determination that Northside Hospital—a private, nonprofit corporation—was not required to comply with a request for...more

Insurer Must Defend Data Breach Claim Under Traditional Commercial General Liability Policies

On April 11, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a ruling by Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia that Travelers Indemnity Company of America...more

Not a Check-the-Box Exercise: Failure to Have Signed BAA Results in Substantial Fine

A group practice that was the victim of a silver-harvesting scam has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) $750,000 to settle charges that it released protected health information (“PHI”) of...more

Ex-Husband's Revenge Leads to HHS Trophy

Patient care is not confined to a single office or exam room, or a single physician or other provider. Caring for patients these days now includes complex coordination among physicians, nurse, technicians, staff, management,...more

Appeals Court Confirms that HITECH Violations Do Not Violate FCA

In an important recent decision, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that a qui tam relator's claim that her former husband improperly accessed electronic protected health information (e-PHI) of her and her relatives...more

21st Century Oncology data breach litigation update

We previously reported that 21st Century Oncology suffered a data breach affecting 2.2 million patients and has been sued in at least two class action lawsuits following notification to the patient....more

Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FCA Claim Based on Health Data Breaches

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a False Claims Act (FCA) case premised on protected health data breaches. In United States ex rel. Sheldon v. Kettering Health Network, the...more

Good News for Corporate Policy Holders: Court Finds Cyber Coverage Under Standard Liability Policy

Corporate policy holders received good news on April 11 when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued its opinion in the case captioned: The Travelers Indemnity Company of America v. Portal Healthcare...more

Fourth Circuit Holds General Liability Covers Defense of Data Breach Class Action

The Fourth Circuit affirmed this week that Travelers Insurance (“Travelers”) must defend Portal, a medical records company, against a class action suit stemming from an alleged cyber “publication” of its customers’ personal...more

Mintz Levin Health Care Qui Tam Update - Recently Unsealed Whistleblower Cases: April 2016

Trends & Analysis - ..We have identified 42 health care–related qui tam cases that have been unsealed in whole or in part since the cases covered in our last Qui Tam Update. Included in that count is one proceeding (the...more

Class action suit filed against 21st Century Oncology for data breach

We previously reported that 21st Century Oncology had suffered a data breach and notified 2.2 million patients that it had been the victim of a hacking that exposed the names, Social Security numbers, physicians’ names,...more

Improper Disclosure of Research Information Results in $3.9 Million Settlement

On March 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that the Feinstein Institution for Medical Research (“Feinstein”) agreed to pay $3.9 million to resolve...more

Sixth Circuit Rules That EHR Security Breaches Do Not Violate False Claims Act

On March 7, 2016, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that security breaches of individual electronic health records (“EHRs”) do not violate the HITECH Act and cannot support False Claims Act allegations. ...more

OCR Announces Two Significant HIPAA Breach Settlements

On consecutive days, the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently announced two large HIPAA breach settlements. On March 16, 2016, OCR announced that it entered into a...more

Don’t Neglect Your Business Associate Agreements!

As we have repeatedly emphasized on this blog, HIPAA Covered Entities must ensure that they have compliant business associate agreements (“BAAs”) in place with all of their business associates and must ensure that they have...more

Can Healthcare Providers Prohibit Employees From Using Recording Devices in the Workplace?

In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision in Whole Foods Market, Inc., 363 NLRB No. 87 (Dec. 24, 2015), hospitals and healthcare providers will need to revisit their employee recording policies. This...more

Sixth Circuit Finds “Prior Express Consent” in Affirming Dismissal of TCPA Class Action against Healthcare Provider’s Debt...

The Sixth Circuit (the “Court”) recently sided with a defendant-debt collector in a putative class action in which the plaintiffs claimed that the defendant’s calls to their cell phones violated the Telephone Consumer...more

Beware of Violating Patient Privacy Laws in Bankruptcy Claim Filings

Recent court filings highlight the need for health care providers to protect patient privacy by implementing specific procedures when filing claims in bankruptcy cases of their patients, as a matter of federal bankruptcy and...more

Creditor Can Obtain TCPA "Prior Express Consent" Through Intermediary, Sixth Circuit Rules

A creditor that received a consumer's cell phone number through an intermediary had the consumer's ''prior express consent'' under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to receive calls from a debt collector, the U.S....more

Ask the Health Law Gurus™: What Is a Civil Monetary Penalty and How Is It Different from an OCR Settlement?

The Health Law Gurus™ are here to help you stay current on issues and breaking news in health law. To help you stay up-to-date, we are excited to announce our new segment, “Ask the Health Law Gurus™.” Each month, we will...more

Blog: ALJ Upholds OCR Enforcement Against Lincare, Inc. of $239,800

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administrative law judge (ALJ) recently sustained an earlier HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) decision to impose a civil money penalty (CMP) of $239,800 against Lincare...more

Latest OCR Enforcement Action: Underbed Storage is Not Appropriate for PHI

Recent enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) have highlighted that, not surprisingly, Covered Entities should not leave medical records in a...more

Historic Moment: Husband Reports Wife’s HIPAA Violation Triggering Six Figure Penalty Against Employer

For the second time in history, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has imposed a civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) against a covered entity for violations of the Health Insurance and Portability Act (“HIPAA”). Lincare, Inc., a...more

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