Science, Computers & Technology Health Privacy

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Health Update - November 2015

Best Practices for Using Social Media in Healthcare: Maximizing Impact, Mitigating Risk - Editor's note: In a generation more likely to seek health information online than see a doctor, social media is playing an...more

Increased risk of ‘Medjacking’ calls for better security measures on medical devices

Did you know that right now we have about 5 billion connected smart devices in use? Is it surprising that it is predicted that by 2020 that number will skyrocket to 25 billion? Of all these connected devices, a significant...more

Lab tech indicted for identity theft

A lab tech working at a Las Vegas pediatric cardiology practice has been indicted on one count of illegal use and disclosure of patient health information and one count of aggravated identity theft. The lab tech had...more

Massachusetts develops a remote controlled contraceptive chip

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the remote controlled contraceptive computer chip. Releasing measured doses of the levonorgestrel hormone, these computer chips can be implanted under a woman’s skin as a new form of birth...more

New HIPAA Audit Program Expected in 2016

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a report reviewing the HIPAA audit program that is administered by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The OCR is responsible...more

Medical Devices a Target for Online Hackers

In the past few years, medical devices have become a major target for online criminals. Not only are medical devices considered to be one of the easiest and most vulnerable points of entry into a health care enterprise, they...more

FTC Theory of Unrealized Consumer Injury Rejected in LabMD Data Security Case

In what could be a major setback for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the data security arena, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has ruled that an unfairness claim brought by the FTC under Section 5 of the FTC Act...more

Blog: White House Publishes Precision Medicine Initiative Privacy Guidelines

On Monday, the White House released its Privacy and Trust Principles (the “Principles”) for the Precision Medicine Initiative (“PMI”). PMI is a federal initiative announced in the 2015 State of the Union to support research,...more

Blog: Hospital and Vendor Reach Agreement to Settle Alleged HIPAA Violations with Connecticut AG

Last week, the Connecticut Attorney General (the “Connecticut AG”) announced that Hartford Hospital and its subcontractor, EMC Corporation (“EMC”), agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and...more

The 37th International Conference of Data Protection & Privacy Commissioners – Some Observations

The annual conference of the world’s data protection regulators is a three day exercise, with half of the conference being “closed door” for the regulators only, and the other half being a series of side meetings and...more

Potential Data Breach Could Affect Over 1,000 Medicaid Patients

The confidential health information of 1,615 Medicaid patients may have been compromised by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) on August 19, 2015, though the fact that this potential breach...more

CT AG slams Hartford Hospital and EMC for loss of laptop

True to his word, the Connecticut AG has aggressively entered the data privacy and security enforcement arena with a $90,000 settlement with Hartford Hospital and EMC. The AG has agreed to a payment of $90,000 from...more

HHS OIG FY 2016 Work Plan Outlines Oversight Priorities

The HHS OIG has released its FY 2016 Work Plan, which outlines the top audit, evaluation, and other legal and investigative initiatives that the OIG intends to conduct this fiscal year. As in years past, Medicare and Medicaid...more

HHS Office of Inspector General Calls for Increased Oversight and Enforcement of HIPAA

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Office of Evaluation and Inspections, released two studies calling on the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Rep. Brady (R-TX) Named Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee... Co-op Closures Subject of Two Hearings and More Letters... Drug Prices Subject of Investigations in Senate, House Dems Launch Task Force on...more

Top takeaways from 33rd Annual IAHA Annual Meeting

On Oct. 27, 2015, the Annual Meeting of the Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys was held at Navy Pier in Chicago. Hundreds of health care attorneys attended, including several from Thompson Coburn. The symposium was...more

OIG Lists Cybersecurity of Medical Devices and HIPAA Among its Priorities for 2016

The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) 2016 Work Plan, released November 3, 2015, calls for increased scrutiny of protections of electronic protected health information (“ePHI”) with respect to “networked medical devices.”...more

Mental health center hacked

Not-for-profit mental health center Emergence Health Network, located in El Paso, Texas, has announced that its computer servers were compromised “through an unauthorized internet connection” from as far back as 2012....more

HIPAA Lessons from the Warner Chilcott Settlement

Last week, the US Attorney’s Office in Boston announced that drug company Warner Chilcott agreed to plead guilty to health care fraud and pay $125 million to resolve criminal and civil liability arising out of allegations...more

HIPAA and Text Messaging

Text messaging is pervasive. Doctors and other health care providers, covered entities, and business associates currently use (and embrace) the technology. Texting is easy, fast and efficient. It doesn’t require a laptop...more

OCR Audits to Begin in 2016

Beginning in 2016, the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will conduct another round of audits to gauge compliance with privacy provisions in the Health Insurance Portability...more

Blog: Implications of the Cybersecurity Bill for the Health Care Industry

On Tuesday the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). The House had passed a similar bill, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, in April of this year. The Act comes in the wake of many large scale data...more

Data-Harvesting Zombie Hackers, Blood-Thirsty Auditors, and Other Reasons to be Scared on Halloween

This Halloween, the scariest monsters might not be in your closet or under your bed. They may be overseas, orchestrating intrusions into your electronic medical record. Or they may be lurking in your own workforce, carrying...more

HHS’ Selection of Contractor Provides Latest Update on Impending Second Round of HIPAA Audits

On October 27, 2015, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) official stated that the agency has hired FCi Federal, a provider of management and professional services to government agencies in Ashburn, VA, to...more

OCR Announces HIPAA Security Settlement with Cancer Care Group, P.C.

In September, 2015, OCR and HHS issued a press release announcing a Resolution Agreement with the Cancer Care Group, P.C., which included entry into the agreement, the adoption of a robust compliance plan, and the payment of...more

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