Science, Computers & Technology Health Privacy

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Vendor Causes Breach of Over 5,000 Patient Records

The continued risk that vendors pose to companies, including health care entities cannot be overemphasized. This week, Sentara Healthcare (Sentara) announced that one of its third-party vendors was the victim of a...more

The Anthem Breach – A Retrospective

Many people and news outlets have opined, weighed in, and informed the public about the 2015 Anthem breach. It is still a hot topic in January 2017, because it currently lines up with other hot stories about hacking ordered...more

What You Need To Know About the FDA’s Guidance on Postmarket Cybersecurity

The FDA released its final Guidance on Postmarket Management of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices during the week between Christmas and New Year. You can link to a full copy here, and we gave you our detailed take on the draft...more

U.S. Military Special Operations Command Workers’ Data Exposed by Vendor

Military personnel continue to be victimized by data breaches. This time, the personal information of healthcare workers employed by Potomac Healthcare Solutions (Potomac), who work for a U.S. Special Operations Command were...more

Patient Records Requests: What You Need to Know [Video]

Our guest on Healthcare Matters is Richard J. Rymond, an attorney at Reminger Co., LPA, who specializes in in medical, dental and other forms of professional, commercial and general liability. He is the Dental Liability...more

Time Waits for No One: OCR Announces First HIPAA Settlement for Lack of Timely Breach Notification

On Jan. 9, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced the first HIPAA enforcement action for failure to timely report a breach. Often investigating and making formal...more

New Hampshire Psychiatric Hospital Patient Records Posted Online by Former Patient

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has notified up to 15,000 patients of its psychiatric hospital (New Hampshire Hospital) that their names, addresses, Social Security numbers, Medicaid ID numbers and...more

Failure to Timely Notify Results in Enforcement Action and Significant Settlement

For the first time, on January 9, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (HHS/OCR) settled a HIPAA enforcement action based on the untimely reporting of a breach of unsecured protected...more

Breach of Privacy Prompts Breach of Etiquette: DHHS Sets New Precedent in Privacy Breach Enforcement

On January 9, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) took action against a health system for non-timely reporting of a breach of protected health information. It was the first...more

Joint Commission Confirms Ban on Texting of Patient Care Orders

After briefly considering a reversal of its prohibition on texting orders, The Joint Commission (TJC), in consultation with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced last month that its ban would continue...more

2017 Health Information Privacy and Security New Year’s Resolutions

To start off the New Year, here are some potential health information privacy and security resolutions. You can use these Annual, Quarterly, and Monthly lists to map out your privacy and security tasks for the year, and then...more

Three-Month Delay Means Health Network Must Pay

A delay in reporting a HIPAA violation can result in a significant monetary penalty. That was the message sent by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which recently announced the first HIPAA settlement based on the untimely...more

FDA Issues Final Guidance on Postmarket Cybersecurity

Agency establishes a risk-based framework for assessment of postmarket cybersecurity risks for medical devices. On December 28, 2016, FDA issued a final guidance titled “Postmarket Management of Cybersecurity in Medical...more

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Applications Exposed in Cyber Attack

The Nevada Division of Public Health has announced that its Medical Marijuana Program online database has suffered a cyber-attack that has exposed 11,700 applications requesting approval to open a medical marijuana...more

FDA Releases Guidance on Cybersecurity and Medical Devices

The FDA represents the latest federal agency to show a focus on cybersecurity issues with the release December 28 of new guidance. While the prospect of network-enabled medical devices increasingly offers the promise of...more

Can Your Pacemaker Be Hacked?

A famous Homeland episode involved a terrorist gaining access to the Vice-President’s pacemaker. Accessing medical devices to wreak havoc was one of the motivations behind certain provisions of the Digital Millennium...more

Looking Back at the HIPAA Resolution Agreements in 2016

In 2016, Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the enforcement arm for HIPAA, continued robust enforcement efforts. There were 12 reported resolution agreements (RA) in 2016. An RA is a settlement...more

Health Care Institutions

Originally published in Haig, Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Fourth Edition §§ 87:1 et seq. © 2016 American Bar Association. This chapter discusses federal court litigation relating to health care...more

FDA Guidance on Cybersecurity in Medical Devices

On December 28, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance on Postmarket Management of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices. The guidance clarified aspects of the reporting requirements under Part 806 (21 CFR...more

November the Worst Month Yet for Healthcare Breaches

We have repeatedly reiterated numerous warnings to the healthcare industry about malware and ransomware [see related posts here and here]. Our predictions have unfortunately become true, as November was the worst month ever...more

OCR’s 2016 Ransomware ‘Guidance’: A Health Care Provider’s New Best Friend?

Background on Ransomware Attacks - Doomsday-esque ransomware scenarios are having an increasing impact on the health care industry, becoming commonplace in 2016. Security experts and the media have reported that health...more

21st Century Cures Act - HIPAA & Other Privacy Considerations

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (the Cures Act) into law. The Cures Act addresses a wide range of healthcare topics including clinical research, treatment of mental health and substance...more

Ransomware – A Significant Cybersecurity Concern

Over the past year, no information security threat has demanded more media and corporate attention than ransomware. The evolution of this threat from an ineffective nuisance to a sophisticated business model generating...more

ONC and OCR Issue Joint Fact Sheet on Use of PHI for Public Health Activities

Whenever fact sheets or other guidance is issued by either the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) or the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), it helps gain insight into the thinking of the...more

Quest Diagnostics Announces Breach of 34,000 Records

Quest Diagnostics, which operates medical laboratories, has announced that 34,000 customer records were exposed during a hacking incident that occurred on November 26th. The hacker obtained access to the information through...more

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