News & Analysis as of

Oregon Amends Data Breach Law — Companies Can Expect More Enforcement Actions

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown recently signed into law amendments to the state’s data breach law. These amendments recognize the growing definition of data, expand the role of the Attorney General in addressing data breaches,...more

With No Federal Law in Sight, States Continue to Refine Their Own Data Privacy Laws

With no Congressional consensus to adopt a federal data privacy and breach notification statute, states are updating and refining their already-existing laws to enact more stringent requirements for companies. Two states...more

Proceed With Caution: Does HIPAA Apply to Your Business?

Even if your business is not in the health care industry, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as updated by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH...more

HIPAA Settlement Regarding Use of Internet Applications

On July 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a settlement agreement with St. Elizabeth's Medical Center (SEMC) in Brighton, Massachusetts, regarding potential...more

Recent HHS Settlement Highlights Risks of Electronically-Sharing Protected Health Information

On July 10, 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced its second settlement of the year for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act...more

Employer Health Plans: Taking Responsibility for Your Business Associates

The Anthem and Premera Blue Cross data breaches caused widespread panic throughout the employer health plan community earlier this year. For many, these data breach announcements served as a wakeup call for employer health...more

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

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2015

Health Insurance Company’s HIPAA Breach Affects Millions. At the end of January, a national BlueCross BlueShield affiliate, Anthem, Inc., discovered that its information technology systems were hacked. The information...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

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