Data Breach Protected Health Information

News & Analysis as of

Newest Ponemon study released on health care data breaches

The Ponemon Institute has recently released its Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data. The study has included business associates for the past two years. The study included information received...more

Recent Settlements and Upcoming Audits Highlight the Continuing Need to Focus on Core HIPAA Compliance Measures

Recent settlements and initiatives conducted by the Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlight the continuing need for focus on compliance with the privacy and security...more

Intermedix data breach class action case dismissed

We previously reported that Intermedix was sued in a class action lawsuit regarding the data breach involving millions of patient records....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

Settlements reached for PHI Disclosures

In the last two months, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced two settlement agreements involving the disclosure of protected health information ("PHI"). In both instances, the health care...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms Insurance Coverage for Cyber Claim Under CGL Policy

In a decision issued April 11, the Fourth Circuit added to a small but growing body of case law across the country finding coverage for cyber claims under traditional general liability insurance policies. In Travelers...more

Negotiating Software Agreements – Key Terms For Electronic Health Records

Healthcare providers (Providers) rely on third party vendors for providing Electronic Health Record (EHR) software services. Due to the amount of protected health information Providers store in these software services, and...more

Class Certification Improper in Data Breach Case, PA Appellate Court Finds

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a trial court's decision denying class certification in a data breach case against two health plans, reversing its own earlier ruling in the same case that the plaintiff did not...more

Policyholder Takeaways From Portal

In a solid victory for policyholders, the Fourth Circuit upheld coverage last week for a potential data breach incident involving confidential medical records. The case is The Travelers Indemnity Co. of America v. Portal...more

Fourth Circuit Finds CGL Insurer Has Duty to Defend Cyber Claim

In Travelers Indem. Co. of Am. v. Portal Healthcare Solutions, L.L.C., 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 6554, decided on April 11, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found that a commercial general liability...more

Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic settles with OCR for $750,000 for lack of business associate agreement

Consistent with the settlement the OCR agreed to with North Memorial Health Care of Minnesota, the Office for Civil Rights has settled its investigation of Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic, P.A. (Raleigh Orthopaedic) for $750,000....more

New HIPAA Phase 2 Audits: Targets Notified by Email Only

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced the long-awaited launch of Phase 2 of its HIPAA Audit Program (Phase 2 Audits). The Phase 2 Audits will review the policies...more

Wyoming Medical Center victim of phishing scheme affecting 3,184 patients

Phishing incidents in February that may have compromised the data of 3,184 patients, including their names, dates of birth, medical record and account numbers, dates of service and medical information is causing Wyoming...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds Coverage Under CGL Policy for Data Breach Claims

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (“Fourth Circuit”) recently concluded that an insurer had a duty to defend a health care company that was sued by individuals whose personal health information was...more

Department of Health and Human Services Cracks Down on Vendor Oversight in Recent Hospital Settlements

From the rise in ransomware attacks to inadvertent disclosure of information by subcontractors, the health services industry is reminded that a potential consequence of a data breach is the threat of a regulatory enforcement...more

Keeping Coverage Online: Fourth Circuit Confirms Internet Data Breach Claim Triggers Commercial General Liability Policies

In a clear rejection of insurers’ attempts to artificially narrow the broad coverage provided by commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently held that an...more

Ex-Husband's Revenge Leads to HHS Trophy

Patient care is not confined to a single office or exam room, or a single physician or other provider. Caring for patients these days now includes complex coordination among physicians, nurse, technicians, staff, management,...more

When a Published Data Breach is a Covered Data Breach

Can an inadvertent Internet posting of a patient’s medical information trigger insurance coverage for liability stemming from a data-breach class action? The Fourth Circuit held last week that it can, and it added to the...more

Appeals Court Confirms that HITECH Violations Do Not Violate FCA

In an important recent decision, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that a qui tam relator's claim that her former husband improperly accessed electronic protected health information (e-PHI) of her and her relatives...more

U.S. Market Entry for the German Healthcare IT Company

The healthcare market in the United States is massive, with total spending in excess of $3 trillion. Federal government incentives for the adoption of electronic health records has resulted in an increasingly interoperable...more

21st Century Oncology data breach litigation update

We previously reported that 21st Century Oncology suffered a data breach affecting 2.2 million patients and has been sued in at least two class action lawsuits following notification to the patient....more

Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FCA Claim Based on Health Data Breaches

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of a False Claims Act (FCA) case premised on protected health data breaches. In United States ex rel. Sheldon v. Kettering Health Network, the...more

Fourth Circuit Finds Potential Coverage For Data Leak As Publication Under CGL Policy

This week, a Fourth Circuit panel in an unpublished decision validated arguments long made by policyholders: that commercial general liability policies may provide coverage for certain data breach liabilities. In this case,...more

Big Win For Policyholders in Fourth Circuit Finding Duty to Defend Under General Liability Policy for Data Breach!

This week, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling of summary judgment in favor of the policyholder Portal Healthcare, finding that Travelers has a duty to defend it under a General Liability policy for a...more

State AGs Upping the Ante on Health (and Other) Information Data Incidents – Expect Increased Enforcement Actions

State attorneys general (AGs) continue to emerge as major regulators of privacy, and increasingly, with respect to compromises of health-related data. Businesses concerned with U.S. customer or employee data have long...more

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