Health Communications & Media Privacy

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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

Locky Ransomware Continues to Hit Health Care Entities

FireEye Labs has reported that the Locky ransomware continues to hit the health care industry hard, and has increased in the month of August. Although the telecommunications, manufacturing and aerospace/defense...more

Agencies Encourage New Privacy Regulations to Close the mHealth Black Hole and Keep Pace with Evolving Technologies

On July 19, 2016, the ONC submitted a report to Congress which suggests that health privacy regulations soon may be revised to catch up with the universe of mHealth technologies that now use and share personal health data....more

Nursing Facilities to Face Surveyors’ Review of Photo and Video Policies

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) this month took aim at the unauthorized taking and sharing of photos and videos – including through social media – in nursing facilities. In response to media reports and...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

CMS Cracks Down On Social Media Abuse By Nursing Home Staff

On August 5th the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memorandum to all state survey agencies requiring that during the next standard survey of a nursing home, whether a Traditional or Quality Indicator...more

CMS Issues Warning to Nursing Homes Regarding Abuse of Residents Via Social Media

On August 5, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to nursing homes in a letter to state survey agencies that addresses nursing homes’ obligations to protect residents. The Letter focuses on...more

JCAHO Delays Decision Allowing Physicians To Text Orders

We previously reported that the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) lifted its ban on allowing health care providers to use texts for physician orders....more

FTC Mobile Health Guidance

On April 5, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released new guidance for mobile apps directed towards providing health-related services and information. This guidance was developed with numerous other agencies,...more

Illinois Revises Data Privacy Statute

Earlier this year, Illinois enacted a number of changes to the Illinois Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”). The amendments to PIPA, among other things, expand the definition of personal information subject to...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

Report Warns Providers of HIPAA Violations When Responding to Negative Online Reviews

ProPublica, a public interest investigative newsroom, recently identified more than 3,500 one-star medical reviews on Yelp in which patients complained about privacy issues. ProPublica determined that “in dozens of instances,...more

OCR Announces First HIPAA Enforcement Action against a Business Associate

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced an agreement with Catholic Health Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CHCS), settling allegations that CHCS violated the Health...more

Facebook and HIPAA: Strange Bedfellows

As a social media user, you may have experienced Facebook’s targeted advertising. Mere moments after searching for a specific item on Google or visiting another website, your Facebook ads reflect your recent browsing history....more

Recent Enforcement Action: Business Associates Not Off the Hook

Despite the fact that Business Associates have been directly subject to and liable under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its implementing regulations (HIPAA) since February 18, 2010 the...more

BYOD Risks under HIPAA – Does Your HIPAA Compliance Program Adequately Address the Ever Increasing Use of Portable Electronic...

Many U.S. employers are now allowing employees to use their own personal handheld devices and laptop computers for work-related purposes. As the age of employer-provided devices is coming to an end and “bring your own device”...more

OCR levies first fine ever directly against business associate

Our predictions that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will become more aggressive with audits, investigations, and fines against HIPAA business associates has come true. On June 24, 2016, the OCR announced that it has...more

Study Finds Widespread HIPAA Violations Occurring on Yelp

It is no secret that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a trap for the unwary. A recent study by the non-profit ProPublica has uncovered that the online review site Yelp (as well as other...more

What's New with HIPAA?

A number of new developments have taken place related to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security compliance, and enforcement is increasing. Healthcare providers, health plans and other...more

Joint Commission lifts ban on physicians texting patient orders

The Joint Commission, which is the national accrediting organization for health care organizations, has long banned physicians using text messages to place orders for patient care due to data security concerns. In 2011, the...more

Joint Commission Ends Ban on the Texting of Physician Orders

In the Joint Commission Perspectives May 2016 edition, the Commission reversed its 2011 position prohibiting clinician texting of patient orders within accredited health care institutions, stating technological advancements...more

Facebook, Healthcare Provider Websites and HIPAA

In a class action Complaint filed in the Northern District of California on March 15, 2016, Kiesel Law LLP, on behalf of primary plaintiff Winston Smith and a potential class of others, alleges that Facebook received...more

Wave of the Future: Government Releases New Tool to Aid Medical App Developers Comply with HIPAA

This month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)...more

Top Takeaways from IAPP

The world of privacy grows every day as more data goes through the cloud. The new trends and weekly data breaches make conferences like the Global Privacy Summit all the more relevant. Earlier this month we went to...more

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