News & Analysis as of

A New Era of HIPAA Enforcement

Traditionally, HIPAA enforcement is assigned to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR). In November 2013, Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General sharply criticized OCR’s...more

Also In the News - Data, Privacy, & Security Practice Report - May 2015

ONC Releases Updated Guide To Privacy And Security of Electronic Health Information ? The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) recently released Version 2.0 of the Guide to Privacy and...more

New Study Finds That Criminal Attacks Are The Number One Cause Of Health Sector Data Breaches

On May 7, 2015, the Ponemon Institute released its Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data (the “Study”), which surveyed 90 HIPAA covered entities and 88 business associates regarding their...more

Gavel to Gavel: Protect your data

The ever-increasing expense of corrective actions taken by companies after data breaches is often publicized. What’s not as apparent, or as publicized, are steps companies can take that may reduce the costs and the likelihood...more

Amidst Increasing Security Concerns, Medicare to Drop Social Security Numbers from Cards

In an effort to combat growing concerns of identity left, President Obama signed into law last week a bill that will require the removal of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare beneficiary cards. The change, which...more

Getting the Best Medical Care: a Newsletter from Patrick Malone - April 2015

In This Issue: - What's at Risk - Who's Peeking Into Your File? - Quality Control Is Lacking - How to Protect Your Health Information - Excerpt from Who's Peeking Into Your File? The Washington Post...more

Is Your Company Ready to Comply with Encryption of Individually Identifiable Health Information?

New Jersey’s new data privacy standard, signed into law as S. 562 by Gov. Chris Christie on January 9, requires health insurance carriers that are authorized to issue health benefit plans in New Jersey to protect individually...more

OCR’s Enforcement of HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules Continues with Robust 2014

With the news of the recent cyber-attack and resulting data breach at health insurance giant Anthem Inc., the buzz around data security and privacy is again high. The Anthem breach serves as a reminder to those entities...more

Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

The White House released its much anticipated legislative proposal on the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act (CPBRA) that was first floated in 2012. The CPBRA, if enacted (which seems unlikely before 2016), would provide...more

“Bring Your Own Device” To Work Programs: Regulatory and Legal Risks and How To Minimize Them

If you’ve ever left your mobile phone on an airplane, in a restaurant, or somewhere other than in your possession, you know it’s frightening enough to think of losing the device itself, which costs a premium, as well as your...more

Office of Civil Rights Delays Phase 2 Audits

The Office of Civil RIghts (“OCR”) recently announced that Phase 2 of the HIPAA audits would be further delayed because the audit portals and project management tools that are needed to initiate the audit process are not...more

Health Update - February 2015

Cyber Risk Insurance Policies: What You Need to Know - Editor’s Note: As data breach incidents and related cyber risks continue to increase and gain publicity—and government agencies become more actively involved in...more

HIPAA Compliant Technology and the Importance of Encryption

We welcome this guest blog by Gene Fry, Compliance Officer, Scrypt, Inc. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data. This means that any...more

Legal Issues to Consider Before Starting Big Data Projects

We read every day about the myriad of purposes for which enterprises are embarking on Big Data projects. Securing C-suite buy in and funding may be a significant endeavor, as is implementing an analytic approach to yield...more

Employers with Group Health Plans: Have You Notified State Regulators of the Breach?

Data security breaches affecting large segments of the U.S. population continue to dominate the news. Over the past few years, there has been considerable confusion among employers with group health plans regarding the...more

Preparing for a Data Breach – What to Know about Breach Notification

Data breaches are at the forefront of the news, and many companies, including those dominant in the health care industry, have found themselves front and center in the headlines. Although recent news stories have focused...more

Latest Update on Anthem Data Breach - Other BCBS Plans May Be Impacted

As a follow-up to its announcement of a massive cyber breach last week, Anthem has updated its “Frequently Asked Questions” for its employer clients, which are posted at www.AnthemFacts.com. The most significant development...more

Also In the News - Data, Privacy, & Security Practice Report - February 2015

OMB Receives Final Rule Permitting Disclosure To NICS --According to reginfo.gov, the White House Office of Management and Budget received a final rule from HHS that would modify the HIPAA Privacy Rule to expressly permit...more

Pressure Points: OCR Enforcement Activity in 2014

During 2014, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services initiated six enforcement actions in response to security breaches reported by entities covered by the Health Insurance...more

Top Five Resolutions for Covered Entities and Business Associates in 2015

The New Year is here. It is time to make those 2015 resolutions, and not just those for getting fit and healthy. Resolve now to improve your organization’s compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability...more

On the Tenth Day of Privacy, OCR Gave to Me…..

……………..a cumbersome C-A-P The U.S Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has received tremendous publicity in recent years for its upward-trendingfines and aggressive enforcement of HIPAA...more

Failure to take basic security measures may result in HIPAA penalties – 6 tips to keep up with updates and patches

Covered Entities and their Business Associates must comply with HIPAA’s Security Rule, or they may face substantial penalties. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently shared a resolution agreement that emphasizes the...more

Just in Time for the Holidays: Another HIPAA Settlement

On December 2, 2014, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, Inc., (ACMHS) entered into a Resolution Agreement and Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to settle alleged violations of the...more

HIPAA Settlement Continues to Emphasize the Importance of Security Policies and Procedures

A recently announced settlement between Anchorage Community Mental Health (“ACMHS”) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) emphasizes, once again, the importance of compliance with...more

Blog: Alaska Provider Reaches HIPAA Settlement with OCR for Security Deficiencies

On December 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Anchorage Community Mental Health Services (“ACMHS”) has agreed to settle potential violations of the...more

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