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Wyoming Medical Center victim of phishing scheme affecting 3,184 patients

Phishing incidents in February that may have compromised the data of 3,184 patients, including their names, dates of birth, medical record and account numbers, dates of service and medical information is causing Wyoming...more

Spring Showers Bring HIPAA Breaches

OCR has announced several recent settlement agreements to resolve violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). These settlement amounts range from $25,000 to $3.9 million dollars and...more

OCR Releases Updated HIPAA Audit Protocol and Business Associate Listing Template

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently updated the audit protocol that it will be using to assess Covered Entities’ and Business Associate’s compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)...more

Department of Health and Human Services Cracks Down on Vendor Oversight in Recent Hospital Settlements

From the rise in ransomware attacks to inadvertent disclosure of information by subcontractors, the health services industry is reminded that a potential consequence of a data breach is the threat of a regulatory enforcement...more

Health Care E-Note - April 2016

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, nurses, technicians, staff, management,...more

FTC Releases "Cheat Sheet" for Developing a Secure Mobile Health Application

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in partnership with other federal agencies, has released an online tool that provides developers legal guidance for the creation of mobile health applications (apps). Companies that are...more

Mobile App Compliance for Dummies: New Tool Helps Developers Understand Their Legal Compliance Requirements

In a joint effort by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), HHS Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a new web-based tool...more

NY Hospital to Pay $2.2 Million for Allowing TV Crew to Videotape Dying Patient

On the ABC television series “NY Med,” doctors from New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) are profiled as they perform medical procedures. However, in an effort to keep it “real,” the show’s crew has landed the hospital in hot...more

Government Issues New Tool to Help Mobile App Developers Identify Applicable Federal Laws

This week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) released an interactive tool (entitled the “Mobile Health Apps Interactive Tool”) that is intended to help developers identify the federal law(s) that apply to apps...more

Federal Agencies Provide User-Friendly Guidance on Compliance with Data Privacy Laws

How federal privacy laws apply to mobile health applications has been an area of significant ambiguity. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil...more

Regulators Offer Guidance on Privacy and Security for Health App Developers

This month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued guidance on privacy and security best practices for health-related mobile apps, such as fitness apps connected with wearables, diet and weight loss apps, and health...more

How to Prepare for the Next Round of HIPAA Audits

Nearly two years after the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) first announced its preparation for another round of HIPAA audits, Phase II of OCR’s HIPAA audit program is finally underway. On March 21, OCR began emailing...more

Proposed Changes to the Part 2 Regulations: Another Example of Necessary Flexibility in the Wake of Changes to Health Care...

On February 9, 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published a proposed rule to update and modernize the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations governing...more

A New Tool for Health App Developers to Navigate a Crowded Regulatory Field

As regulators seek to define their authority and the scope of their enforcement power, more health apps will continue to flood the marketplace and transform how patients are treated. As mobile health applications...more

SOS Answered: New Guidance on HIPAA for App Developers

Amidst criticism that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) lags behind technological innovation, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released new guidance to aid app developers in determining how...more

State AGs Upping the Ante on Health (and Other) Information Data Incidents – Expect Increased Enforcement Actions

State attorneys general (AGs) continue to emerge as major regulators of privacy, and increasingly, with respect to compromises of health-related data. Businesses concerned with U.S. customer or employee data have long...more

OCR Announces Beginning of 2016 HIPAA Phase 2 Audit Program

The OCR recently announced the beginning of the next phase of the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Audit Program and indicated that it will review the policies and procedures implemented by covered entities...more

Preparing For and Responding To Data Breaches (Presentation)

While companies may be aware of the threats posed to their businesses by a data breach, they should also have a concrete plan in place so that they can respond effectively should one occur. In a recent webinar, attorneys from...more

Transfer of healthcare website information to Facebook alleged to be a HIPAA violation

Filed under the title of creative lawyering, a putative class action case has been filed against Facebook in federal court in Northern California alleging that health care providers and medical organizations have violated...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

Medical devices and cybersecurity: FDA calls for comprehensive risk management programs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with the issuance of its recent 2016 Draft Guidance “Postmarket Management of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices,” continues to step up its involvement with medical devices having a...more

Debt Collector for Affiliated Physician Group Can Rely on Patient Contact Consent Obtained by Hospital

Careful drafting of consent and information release provisions can ensure that providers and affiliated physicians and their debt collectors can contact patient cell phones using automatic telephone dialing systems or...more

OCR Kicks Off HIPAA Audits After Issuing Two Major Settlements

On March 21, 2016, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launched phase two of its much-anticipated audit program for covered entities and business associates. The announcement comes in the wake of OCR's issuance of two major...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

After a Strong Enforcement Presence in 2015, OCR Starts 2016 with a $239,000 Civil Money Penalty Judgment

It has been a busy winter for the US Department of Health and Human Service, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”). Since November 2015, the agency has announced three settlements and one civil money penalty judgment amounting to...more

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