News & Analysis as of

HIPAA Violation Results in $4.8 Million Settlement

While most healthcare providers know to pay close attention to the HIPAA rules when setting up their information technology systems, recent events have demonstrated that this close scrutiny should also be applied to computer...more

HIPAA Data Breaches

HIPAA has been on the books since 1996. With the advent of electronic health records, HHS adopted security regulations to require covered entities to protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of electronic...more

Five Lessons from OCR’s Report to Congress on Breaches and HIPAA Rules Compliance

Last week, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released two reports required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act: (i) the Annual Report to Congress on Breaches of Unsecured...more

Human Error Biggest Threat to Patient Data Security and Privacy

Human error remains the biggest threat to healthcare data privacy, according to the latest study on patient privacy and data security by the Ponemon Institute. Healthcare organizations also continue to struggle with...more

Stolen Patient Information on Hospital Computer Not Considered “Medical Information” by California Appellate Court

The California Court of Appeal recently held that the release of an index identifying hospital patients did not constitute the release of medical information under California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act...more

Failure to Encrypt Mobile Devices = Nearly $2 Million in Settlements

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) settled for the collective amount of $1,975,220 with Concentra Health Services (Concentra) and QCA Health Plan, Inc. (QCA). The settlements stem...more

“Cha-Ching” – HIPAA Settlement Reaches New Heights and Signals More To Come

In the largest HIPAA enforcement action to date, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) extracted $4.8 million from two leading New York institutions, New York-Presbyterian Hospital...more

Health Update - May 2014

Litigation Arising from the Affordable Care Act: The Blessing and Curse of Interesting Times - The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought the most sweeping changes to the healthcare delivery and payment systems in the...more

New York Hospitals to Pay Record $4.8 Million for HIPAA Data Breach

In the largest Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) settlement to date, two New York hospitals have agreed to pay $4.8 million to settle allegations that they failed to secure thousands of patients’...more

The New Normal: Big Data Comes of Age

On May 1, 2014, the White House released two reports addressing the public policy implications of the proliferation of big data. The first report is by the Executive Office of the President, entitled “Big Data: Seizing...more

HHS OCR Settles Post-Data Breach Investigation for Record $4.8M

On May 7, 2014, HHS OCR announced a pair of resolution agreements with New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) and Columbia University (CU) totaling $4.8 million dollars—the highest settlement amount to date. These resolution...more

Health Law Insights Newsletter - April 2014

In This Issue: - Federal Updates - State Updates - HIPAA Updates - Excerpt from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Issues Guidance for Meaningful Use Hardship Exception: The Centers...more

Physical Therapy Provider Enters into HIPAA Settlement

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced yet another enforcement action. Specifically, OCR opened a compliance review of Concentra Health Services (Concentra) upon...more

Eye on Privacy Newsletter - March 2014

In this issue: - Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Settles California Attorney General Charges over Delayed Data Breach Notification - Status of the EU Regulation and the Safe Harbor Framework - FTC Steps...more

Data Breach Class Settlement Approved After Eleventh Circuit Held Identity Theft Following Breach Presents Cognizable Injury

Recently, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida approved a class settlement in a case in which the plaintiffs claimed financial harm from a health care company’s failure to protect their personal...more

Counties Beware – Your Governmental Status Does Not Protect You from Liability for a HIPAA Breach

As a county government, you may think that you have the protection of sovereign immunity and protection from other governments penalizing you. Your status does not protect you. The Department of Health and Human Services...more

Do Windows XP Users Risk HIPAA Non-Compliance?

Microsoft recently announced that, after April 8, 2014, it will not longer provide security updates or technical support for Windows XP. Microsoft’s statement that “businesses that are governed by regulatory obligations such...more

FTC Settles Case With Medical Transcription Company

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced that it had settled its data privacy case against medical transcription firm GMR Transcription Services, Inc. (GMR) following allegations that GMR had failed to adequately...more

Health Law Blog: County Government Settles Alleged HIPAA Violations

A small county in Washington has agreed to pay $215,000 to settle allegations that it violated HIPAA by failing to secure electronic protected health information. Skagit County maintained protected health information (“PHI”)...more

Belgium: Beware Of The Barking Privacy Watchdog, She’s Biting

The quietness in the privacy landscape in Belgium is about to drastically change. Reason for the change of pace are the recent major data breaches that were published by the media. The Privacy Commission announced it will...more

Proposed $6.8M Fine Related to Puerto Rico Breach Incident

Triple-S Salud, Inc. (“Triple-S”), a Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration (“PRHIA”) contractor, filed a Form 8-K indicating that the PRHIA intended to impose a civil monetary penalty of $6,768,000 and other...more

Unprecedented HIPAA Fine May Mean Increased Scrutiny and Penalties

Triple-S Management Corp. (“Triple-S”), a Puerto Rico-based health insurer, has been fined $6.8 million by the Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration (“PRHIA”) following a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability...more

California Attorney General Files Suit Over Untimely Data Breach Notice

On January 24, the California Attorney General (AG) sued a health care company over its alleged failure to timely submit notice of a 2011 data breach. According to the complaint, the company learned of the breach at the end...more

Health Care Entity Pays $150,000 to HHS as a Result of Stolen Thumb Drive Containing PHI

Encrypting USB drives, analyzing security risks, and implementing breach notification policies and procedures could mean the difference between compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”)...more

U.S. Privacy and Data Protection: 2013 Year in Review and a Look Ahead to 2014

In Boston, we celebrated Data Privacy Day (January 28) by presenting “U.S. Privacy and Data Protection: 2013 Year In Review and a Prediction of What’s to Come in 2014” for participants in an IAPP KnowledgeNet. Our panel of...more

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