Health Consumer Protection

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CareFirst announces breach of 1.1 million records in cyberattack

Following in the footsteps of Anthem and Premera, CareFirst, a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan servicing customers in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia announced yesterday that it too has been the victim of a...more

Legislation Proposed In New Jersey to Alert Patients to Out-of-Network Costs

On May 14, 2015, four New Jersey legislators introduced the Out-of-Network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act (the "Legislation"). If enacted, the Legislation would increase health care...more

CareFirst Suffers Cyberattack, Data Breach of 1.1 Million Customers’ Information

BREAKING NEWS: Health insurer CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield disclosed today that hackers gained access to one of its databases, exposing personally identifiable information for approximately 1.1 million people....more

ONC Releases Updated Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently released Version 2.0 of the Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic...more

Also In the News - Data, Privacy, & Security Practice Report - May 2015

ONC Releases Updated Guide To Privacy And Security of Electronic Health Information ? The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) recently released Version 2.0 of the Guide to Privacy and...more

North Dakota Focused on Privacy and Information Security; AG Wants to Know if You’ve Been Breached

Come August 1, North Dakota’s Attorney General will expect to hear from you if your company suffers a breach of computerized data affecting more than 250 persons. On April 13 North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple signed S....more

New HIPAA Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently released Version 2.0 of its Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information (Guide)....more

May Antitrust Bulletin

On April 27, 2015, Applied Materials Inc. and Tokyo Electron Ltd. abandoned their merger plans after facing pushback from the Department of Justice (DOJ). The merger, which has been pending since September 2013, would have...more

Issues Concerning Medical Identity Theft

Whenever a large data breach occurs in the healthcare industry, such as the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield breach this past winter, some news stories always seem to focus on the strange medical catastrophes that could...more

OCR Announces Settlement and Corrective Action Plan with Pharmacy Stemming from Alleged Violations

On April 24, 2015, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) once again stressed the importance of properly disposing of protected health information (“PHI”) when it announced its settlement and corrective action plan with...more

Federal Trade Commission Obtains a Near Record-Breaking Disgorgement in a Monopolization Case

On April 20, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that Cardinal Health, Inc. (“Cardinal”), agreed to pay $26.8 million to resolve allegations that it violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act by monopolizing the...more

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

Surprise Bills Laws Enacted in California and New York

What Do They Mean for Providers? - Both California and New York have recently enacted so-called “Surprise Bills Laws” that require out-of-network providers to give notice to patients that a particular item or service...more

Criminal Cyberattacks: The No. 1 Cause of Health Care Data Breaches in 2014

A new study released on May 7, 2015, by the Ponemon Institute revealed that criminal cyberattacks on health care organizations were the most prevalent cause of data breaches in 2014. The report underscores the need to think...more

The Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations in 2015

The Emergency Care Research Institute, (ECRI) Patient Safety Organization (PSO) has issued its 2015 “top 10 list” of safety concerns for multiple healthcare settings, such as hospitals, ambulatory care centers, doctor’s...more

Pharmacy Settles HIPAA Investigation for $125,000

On April 22, 2015, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) entered into its first HIPAA violation settlement in 2015. The settlement requires Cornell Prescription Pharmacy, a small pharmacy located in the Denver area to pay the OCR...more

JAMA Releases Study Analyzing Scope and Characteristics of Recent Data Breaches

Reports of security breaches involving health care information have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, and such breaches seem to be continually growing in scope and magnitude. In the April 14, 2015, issue of JAMA,...more

Partners HealthCare Hit with Phishing Expedition Exposing 3,300 Patient Records

Late last week, Partners HealthCare announced that it notified approximately 3,300 patients of a security breach involving a hacking incident where intruders accessed medical and personal information of patients....more

Decision Highlights Questions Over Substantiation for Weight Loss Claims

The Eleventh Circuit recently issued a decision in an contempt proceeding against Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals and several individuals. The case highlights the ongoing debate over whether clinical trials are required for weight...more

OCR Transmits Pre-Audit Screening Surveys to Covered Entities for Phase 2 HIPAA Compliance Audits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently transmitted HIPAA pre-audit screening surveys to covered entities that may be selected for a second phase of HIPAA compliance audits...more

“Ring my friend, I said you call Doctor Robert, day or night he'll be there”*

The first lawsuit, in what may be a wave of antitrust litigation challenging professional board regulations in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade...more

ONC-HIT Releases Updated Guide for Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC-HIT) released version 2.0 of its Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information (the Guide). While the Guide clearly states that it...more

Addressing Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches in Supplier Contracts - Part 2: How are Limits of Liability Evolving, with Respect to...

Ten years ago, most "buyers/customers" expected their suppliers to absorb unlimited contractual liability if the supplier was responsible for a breach affecting the customer's data. Today, while customers may continue to...more

OCR Announces Another HIPAA Settlement and Warns Not to Forget About Paper Records

On April 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (“Cornell Pharmacy”) had entered into a resolution agreement to settle,...more

HIPAA Rules and Procedures in the Event of a Data Breach, Part Two

My last post focused on the discovery and investigation of a data security breach to determine if breach notification is needed. Today’s post now turns to the requirements of breach notification triggered by a data security...more

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