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Hackers Steal 600K Records from Health Care Firms – Could Your Wearable Device Be Next?

Security firm InfoArmor published a report in late July 2016 stating that a group of attackers infiltrated American health care institutions, stole at least 600,000 patient records and attempted to sell more than 3 terabytes...more

Healthcare Records Held Hostage: When ransomware attacks

Imagine for a moment that your hospital or physician practice suddenly cannot access its electronic medical records. There hasn’t been a natural disaster. No, instead you are inexplicably staring at a computer screen from an...more

OCR to Increase Investigations of Smaller HIPAA Breaches

HHS Office for Civil Rights will cast a wider net and increase its investigations into smaller HIPAA privacy breaches starting this month. OCR announced a new initiative to increase its efforts examining breaches that affect...more

Final Order against Practice Fusion Approved by FTC

On August 16, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the final order resolving its privacy complaints against Practice Fusion. The complaint alleged that Practice Fusion “misled consumers by soliciting reviews for...more

The Potentially Dangerous Intersection of Healthcare and Social Media

Lately, there have been numerous reports in the media raising patient privacy concerns due to healthcare providers’ use of social media in the workplace. A few examples include...more

Lessons for Businesses from FTC’s Opinion on LabMD’s Data Security Practices

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued an Opinion and Final Order finding that the data security practices of LabMD, Inc. were unreasonable, and therefore constituted an unfair act or practice in violation of Section 5...more

Latest OCR HIPAA Settlement Provides Lessons for Covered Entities

Capping off a busy month of HIPAA settlements, on August 4, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced a $5.55 million settlement with Advocate Health Care Network (“Advocate”), the largest fully-integrated healthcare...more

University of Mississippi to Pay $2.75 Million for Alleged HIPAA Violations

On July 21, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a settlement with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), stemming from a 2013 breach of...more

FTC Holds That Disclosure of Sensitive Medical Information Due to Lax Security Violates the FTC Act

Last week, three commissioners from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held in In the Matter of LabMD, Inc. that a company’s failure to implement reasonable security measures to protect sensitive consumer information on its...more

AMA Adopts Ethical Guidelines for Telemedicine Providers

At its annual meeting on June 13, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted ethical guidelines for the use of telemedicine, affirming the organization’s support of the use of telemedicine technologies within the confines...more

Hospital Text Messaging Rules Placed on Hold by Joint Commission

The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals and other health care organizations, hit pause on its prior May 2016 announcement to allow secure text messaging in hospitals and other health care organizations. The use of...more

2.7 Million Dollar HIPAA Settlement

Last week, Oregon Health & Science University (“OHSU”) agreed to pay $2.7 million to resolve potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Security Rule, Privacy Rule, and...more

Breaking News: FTC Vacates ALJ’s Ruling and Finds LabMD Liable for Unfair Data Security Practices

In a ruling issued this morning, the Federal Trade Commission found that LabMD, the defunct Atlanta-based cancer detection lab, failed to protect patient information and is liable for unfair data security practices. The...more

Boosts in Ransomware Attacks Spark Multiple Government Agency Responses

Following a recent U.S. government interagency report indicating that, on average, there has been an alarming 300 percent spike in daily ransomware attacks since early 2016 as compared with 2015, the U.S. Department of Health...more

HHS OCR Guidance on Ransomware Attacks: They Constitute a “Security Incident” and Are Likely a Data Breach

On July 11, 2016, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released guidance on HIPAA covered entities’ responsibilities in a ransomware attack, a type of cyber-attack that has targeted the health care sector extensively in...more

Is encryption the key to your data security?

With the increased rate of data breaches targeting personal information, an increased public awareness of online privacy, and an increasingly demanding regulatory landscape, large and small businesses are looking to...more

Breach of ePHI Results in $2.7 Million Fine

Oregon Health & Science University (“OHSU”) has paid $2.7 million to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) to settle allegations that it violated the Health Insurance Portability...more

Cybersecurity News & Notes – July 2016 #3

In Case You Missed It: Court certifies class in suit against Apple. On July 15, 2016, U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar certified a class of users of the mobile app Path, who allege that Apple facilitated the app’s access...more

Entity Fined $650,000 in First HIPAA Settlement with a Business Associate

The possibility of business associates potentially being audited, investigated, and ultimately fined is now a reality. On June 24, 2016, the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights...more

“Your Money or Your PHI”: OCR Releases Guidance on Ransomware

On July 11, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released important new guidance on ransomware for hospitals and other healthcare providers and finally addressed the question of whether electronic protected health...more

Physical security still an issue: Pruitt Health suffers breach in break-in

The importance of physical security and the risk associated with the unauthorized access to or loss of paper records is clear from recent experiences of Pruitt Health in South Carolina. On March 2, 2016, an intruder...more

Business Associates Beware! OCR Is Coming For You

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the first HIPAA settlement involving a business associate. Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia...more

Analysis of Health Care Data Breach Litigation Trends

Companies that have a breach involving protected health information ("PHI") worry not only about fines and penalties imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), but about class action lawsuits. The risk...more

Business Associate Settles HIPAA Investigation for $650,000

The U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the agency responsible for enforcing the HIPAA Privacy and Security rules, has just sent a strong message that business associates are not immune from scrutiny. On June 24, 2016, in a...more

FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Dissemination of Patient-Specific Information from Devices

On June 10, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance advising manufacturers on appropriate and responsible dissemination of patient-specific information from medical devices....more

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