News & Analysis as of

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

Ransomware Cuts Deep, in Life & in Coverage

1. Beyond Breaches - With ransomware, cybersecurity in healthcare has gone far beyond HIPAA compliance, breaches of PHI or identity theft. For the unprepared healthcare provider not able to prevent ransomware or...more

Federal Agencies Provide User-Friendly Guidance on Compliance with Data Privacy Laws

How federal privacy laws apply to mobile health applications has been an area of significant ambiguity. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil...more

Think Before You App: FTC Releases Compliance Tools for Health App Developers

The Federal Trade Commission furthered its outreach to the mobile app developer community last week by issuing new guidance for integrating privacy and security into mobile health apps, as well as an interactive online tool...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

Developments in Cybersecurity: Privacy Laws, Hacking Beyond Customer Data, and Communicating with Corporate Boards

I. Legal Exposure to Federal and State Privacy Laws - A. Federal Statutes and Enforcement - 1. Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 41-58 - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has emerged as the leading...more

WEBINAR: Cloud Computing & Health Care Organizations - Critical Privacy & Security Issues

More and more organizations are turning to the cloud because of how flexible and low-cost it is. As a result, many health care organizations are now using cloud-based servers to store patient information and are discovering...more

NAIC Adopts Cybersecurity Bill of Rights

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) continued its efforts to advance cybersecurity in the insurance industry when it recently adopted the Cybersecurity Bill of Rights. The Cybersecurity Bill of Rights...more

HIPAA and Text Messaging

Text messaging is pervasive. Doctors and other health care providers, covered entities, and business associates currently use (and embrace) the technology. Texting is easy, fast and efficient. It doesn’t require a laptop...more

Data-Harvesting Zombie Hackers, Blood-Thirsty Auditors, and Other Reasons to be Scared on Halloween

This Halloween, the scariest monsters might not be in your closet or under your bed. They may be overseas, orchestrating intrusions into your electronic medical record. Or they may be lurking in your own workforce, carrying...more

End of Year Issues Impacting Employer Health Plans

With the end of 2015 fast approaching, employers should be aware of certain issues under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) and...more

HHS’ Selection of Contractor Provides Latest Update on Impending Second Round of HIPAA Audits

On October 27, 2015, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) official stated that the agency has hired FCi Federal, a provider of management and professional services to government agencies in Ashburn, VA, to...more

HIPAA Double Take: What Health Plan Sponsors Need to Know Now

With the onslaught of Affordable Care Act changes, health plan sponsors have much to think about lately. Given the number of other issues affecting them, plan sponsors may feel that HIPAA privacy and security is an issue they...more

More Data Vulnerabilities, Cyber Breaches Detected in Healthcare Exchanges

Government audits continue to reveal that millions of people’s personally identifiable information is at risk. Continuous audit reports by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of The Department of Health and Human...more

The FTC’s Broad Authority and FTC v. Wyndham: Thinking about the Future of Data Privacy Regulations

What makes data privacy law interesting for academics, challenging for lawyers, and frustrating for businesses its shape-shifting structure in the face of rapidly changing technology. The recent change in the invalidation of...more

Alphabet Soup and Data Security

In the span of two days, mobile device users learned of two data breaches that could compromise their personal data. In one, Experian (a credit reporting agency) reported that it was hacked, potentially putting 15 million...more

Data privacy in the Americas - At a glance

As multinational employers are aware, data privacy laws can vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Ensuring compliance with the different requirements can be challenging, and the penalties for noncompliance can be...more

OCR portal designed for medical mobile app developers

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services has launched a web based portal so medical mobile app developers can ask their “burning” questions about HIPAA compliance....more

Privacy, Security, Risk: What You Missed At IAPP Conference

Earlier this month, privacy and security professionals from around the globe gathered for “Privacy. Security. Risk. 2015”—the second joint conference between the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the...more

OIG Reports Insufficient Oversight Of HIPAA Compliance

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) must improve its oversight and enforcement of patient information privacy and security rules by “covered entities” and their business associates under the Health Information Portability...more

Is Your HIPAA Compliance Program Ready for the FTC?

Everyone in healthcare knows that the next round of HIPAA audits is coming. Covered entities and business associates have long been advised to review and update their HIPAA security risk analyses, have business associate...more

OIG report spurs OCR to announce phase 2 audits

On September 29, it was revealed that the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will commence Phase 2 of its HIPAA audit program in “early 2016.” OCR’s revelation regarding the Phase 2 audits, which had been the subject of...more

OIG Calls for Stronger HIPAA Compliance Efforts

The OIG has issued two reports calling for stronger ONC oversight of covered entity compliance with HIPAA standards. In the first report, “OCR Should Strengthen Its Oversight of Covered Entities’ Compliance with the HIPAA...more

Comment period extended for NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced that due to stakeholder feed-back, the period to submit comments for the draft guide, “Securing Electronic Health Records on Mobile Devices” has been extended...more

Evolving Litigation of Data Breach Claims

An Illinois circuit court judge has dismissed five of six claims in a consolidated class action against Advocate Health and Hospital Corporation arising from a data breach in July 2013. The judge’s dismissal with prejudice...more

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