Privacy Health Communications & Media

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TCPA Violations Claimed Against Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego (Rady) was hit with a proposed class action in California federal court this week for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for autodialed debt-collection calls...more

Blue Shield Of California Avoids TCPA Class Action Over Pre-Recorded Call

On January 13, 2017, the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted Blue Shield of California’s motion for summary judgment in a case on whether the insurer violated the Telephone Consumer...more

Privacy and Data Security: 2017 Year in Preview

Few issues keep executives awake at night more than Privacy and Data Security. New regulations and threats alike are plentiful, varied, and evolving. The rate of change for cybersecurity and information governance continues...more

Blue Shield Avoids TCPA-Related Liability

A federal court in California recently granted a summary judgment motion filed by Blue Shield of California (“Blue Shield”), allowing it to avoid liability for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act...more

Do Routine Calls by Health Plans to Patients and Health Plan Members Constitute “Telemarketing” Under the Telephone Consumer...

Covered entities have a long list of laws and regulations governing their conduct, including their communications with patients, customers, and members. Specifically, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act...more

Enough is Enough: Court Dismisses TCPA Class Action Against A Health Plan That Placed Reminder Calls To Its Members That They...

Plaintiffs across the country have continued to file class actions against companies of all stripe for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), often for communications far afield from the classic...more

Over 3.1 Billion Records Breached So Far in 2016

The tally of records breached in 2016 (through November) globally was over 2.1 billion, according to IT Governance. With the announcement yesterday of Yahoo’s breach of another 1 billion records, that tally is now up to 3.1...more

HHS Issues Warning About Phishing Campaign Disguised As Official Communication

As part of its efforts to assess compliance with the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) engages in audits of covered...more

OCR Alerts Listservs About Fake Phishing Email to Covered Entities and Business Associates

On November 28, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued an Alert to its listservs that a phishing email is being circulated on “mock HHS Departmental letterhead under the signature of OCR”s Director, Jocelyn Samuels”...more

Beware of Phishing Email Disguised as Official OCR Audit Communication

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has posted an alert (and a follow-up alert) warning health plans, health care providers, and their vendors of a mock communication...more

HHS Designates Cloud Service Providers as Business Associates Under HIPAA

Cloud service providers that process electronic protected health information (ePHI) are business associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), even if the PHI is encrypted and the...more

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy: Federal Agencies Issue New Guidelines and Rules for Data Breaches and Online Security (11/16)

After recent high profile data breaches and threats to online privacy—ranging from Yahoo Inc.’s data breach of approximately 500 million accounts to the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta’s email...more

Malware Attacks Against Healthcare Sector Rose 67 percent in Q3 of 2016

The NTT Security Q3 Quarterly Threat Intelligence Report states that the healthcare industry is the fifth most targeted industry for ransomware (behind financial services, retail, manufacturing and technology) for all cyber...more

HHS Publishes New Guidance on HIPAA and Cloud Computing

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new guidance regarding HIPAA compliance and the use of cloud computing solutions. The guidance is intended to assist covered entities...more

Federal Court Finds That 2015 TCPA Safe Harbor Applies to Automated Flu Shot Reminders

A recent decision from a federal court in California found that a retail pharmacy’s “flu shot reminder” calls to mobile phones fall within the FCC’s TCPA safe harbor for exigent health care treatment messages. But the holding...more

HHS-OCR Announces Guidance On HIPAA Compliance And Cloud Computing

On October 6, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued guidance on complying with HIPAA privacy, security, and breach notification rules when using cloud computing technology...more

Ten Things to Know About the CMS Long-Term Care Requirements Final Rule

Deadlines are looming to come into compliance with sweeping changes to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements for long-term care facilities (LTC) participating in Medicare and Medicaid. The CMS final...more

Don't Post That! Protecting Patient Privacy in the Age of Social Media

Social media has great utility for urgent care centers, providing invaluable opportunities to connect with the local community, and offering a host of educational tools for providers and patients. The explosion of myriad...more

The Tech Industry’s Next Frontier?

Tongue-in-cheek references to Pokémon Go as a health App aside, maybe the tech industry is on to something. In the U.S., seven out of every ten deaths are due to chronic diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease. Perhaps...more

OCR Releases HIPAA Guidance on Cloud Computing

On October 6, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released HIPAA guidance on cloud computing (Guidance). The Guidance is intended to help covered entities and business associates...more

Ransomware? Don’t Pay It, Says FBI

What should companies do when ransomware hits? The FBI says: (a) report it to law enforcement and (b) do not pay the ransom. Given the recent onslaught in ransomware attacks—such as a 2016 variant that compromised an...more

FTC Bureau Director Highlights Continuing Health-Related Enforcement, Homeopathic Guidance, and ROSCA at NAD Conference

Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, highlighted the agency’s enforcement priorities at the National Advertising Division’s annual conference earlier this week. Key mentions included the...more

Yuba Sutter Medical Center Hit With Ransomware

Yuba Sutter Medical Center in California (Yuba Sutter) has notified its patients that it has suffered a recent ransomware attack that caused parts of its network to be incapacitated. As a result, patient files were unable to...more

Health Care E-Note - September 2016

In an article published in the September 2016 MASA Newsletter, Jim Hoover and Angie Cameron Smith discuss how physicians should properly respond to subpoenas and requests for patients’ health information. They stress how...more

CMS Warns Against Social Media Postings Involving Nursing Facility Residents

In an August 5, 2016, Survey and Certification memorandum to state Survey Agency Directors, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) directs surveyors of nursing facilities on matters relating to the use of social...more

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