Patient Confidentiality Breaches

News & Analysis as of

Blog: HHS To Launch New HIPAA Audits in Early 2016 in Response to OIG Reports

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued two reports yesterday calling for the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to strengthen its Health Insurance Portability and...more

Alert: UCLA Cleared in Lawsuit Alleging Lax Authentication Involving Insider Access to Medical Records

Earlier this month, a California jury found the University of California, Los Angeles Health System (UCLA) not liable for damages that allegedly resulted when a medical office assistant, Alexis Price, improperly accessed and...more

UCLA suffers another data breach

Last week, UCLA notified 1242 patients that their health information may have been compromised in July when a faculty member’s laptop was stolen. UCLA has notified the patients, the Office for Civil Rights and the California...more

Blog: Cancer Care Group Reaches Agreement to Settle Alleged HIPAA Violations

Last week, Cancer Care Group, P.C. (CCG), an Indiana radiation oncology practice, agreed to settle alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) by paying $750,000 and adopting...more

UK Patients’ Data Exposed by Group Email

The 56 Dean Street Clinic, which is operated by the Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust and specializes in HIV and other sexual health services, has apologized for the error which revealed (to all 780 recipients) the full names...more

Physician Group Practice Pays $750,000 for Breach of Unsecured Electronic Protected Health Information on Electronic Device

Cancer Care Group, P.C. (“CCG”), a radiation oncology physician group practice in Indiana, agreed to pay $750,000 for a breach of unsecured electronic protected health information (“ePHI”). CCG will also implement a...more

St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Pays $218,400 to Settle Alleged HIPAA Security Case Stemming from Use of Cloud-Based Document...

Alleged HIPAA Violations Resulted from Medical Center’s Failure to Risk Assess Internet-Based Document Sharing Application and Inadequate Breach Response. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for...more

Don't Fumble Your HIPAA Obligations: Ensure Your HIPAA Playbook Implements Appropriate Protections for Patients

The injuries suffered by a professional football player brought the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its implementing regulations ("HIPAA") onto center stage of the media during the days...more

Is My Telehealth App Subject to HIPAA?

Many telehealth and mHealth app developers are concerned about whether or not their app is a medical device under FDA regulations (and rightfully so), they often pay less attention to the Health Insurance Portability and...more

Insurer Seeks Declaratory Judgment Against Policyholder for Data Breach

Late last month, Columbia Casualty Company instituted a declaratory judgment lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against its insured, Cottage Health System. Columbia Casualty...more

US District Court in Texas Finds Plaintiffs Lack Article III Standing in PHI Breach

Beverly Peters v. St. Joseph Services Corporation d/b/a St. Joseph Health Care System was a class action that arose out of a data breach of the defendant-health care service provider. It was alleged in the action that...more

PHIPA offers “no shelter” to Ontario Hospital from class proceedings for breach of privacy

Back in 2012, the Ontario Court of Appeal recognized the tort of invasion of privacy – fast forward to the recent string of privacy breaches of personal information held by health care facilities in Ontario. Along comes...more

The Anthem Breach: What Affected Group Plans Should Be Thinking About

The massive data breach announced this week by health insurer Anthem, with up to 80 million consumer records exposed (including Social Security numbers, birthdays, e-mail addresses and employment-related data), brings a...more

Alert: Five Ways to Reduce Your HIPAA Liability

As of early December 2014, 1,170 security breaches under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) involving 31 million records had been reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...more

HIPAA Violation — Pharmacy Held Liable for Employee’s Misdeeds

Recently, the Indiana Court of Appeals let stand a $1.4 million jury verdict against a national pharmacy chain for its employee pharmacist’s unauthorized disclosure of a customer’s confidential medical records.  Given the...more

Protections Governing Theft and Publication of Medical Records

As instances of medical data breaches increase, U.S. courts are interpreting the scope of liability stemming from them. In California, the court in Sutter Health et al. v. The Superior Court of Sacramento County (Atkins) held...more

IT Maintenance Crucial for HIPAA Compliance

The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced an agreement with a medical center to settle charges stemming from the center’s failure to prevent malware from infecting its...more

Recent Changes to California Medical Information Privacy Laws Create More Flexibility and Give Rise to Increased Enforcement

Under California Health & Safety Code (HSC) sections 1280.15(a) and (b), California licensed clinics, hospitals, home health agencies and hospices are required to prevent “unlawful or unauthorized access to, and use or...more

2014 – The Health Law Year in Review

Each year brings significant changes and challenges in the laws governing the health care industry, and 2014 proved to be no exception. What the year may have lacked in the high drama that accompanies comprehensive health...more

Happy New Year! 2015 Brings More Reasonable Breach Notification Reporting Periods for CA Health Care Providers

In 2008 California put into effect breach reporting laws applicable to certain licensed health care providers Healthcare Entities that are more stringent than HIPAA - so stringent that Healthcare Entities have been required...more

Data Breach Plaintiff Given Second Chance to Certify Class Action Suit

Recently, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in favor of data breach plaintiff Avrum Baum, giving him a second chance to certify a class action suit against Keystone Mercy Health Plan. Baum brought suit against the...more

What Preemption? Connecticut State Court Gives Life to Negligence Claims Based on HIPAA Privacy Standard of Care

Like many federal statutes, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) contains a provision governing how the statute is designed to interact with similar or otherwise related state laws. When...more

Hospital Fires Back: Accuses Whistleblowers of Violating Patient Confidentiality

Hospitals have long seethed over employees who exploit their inside information to become whistleblowers. There’s generally not much they can do besides seethe unless the employee has some special duty of confidentiality...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™

Patient Medical Records Stolen from New Jersey Storage Facility – Tribeca Medical Center is notifying patients that their protected health information may be compromised. According to a privacy notice posted on Tribeca...more

Employer Liability for Employees’ Privacy Violations: What your organization should learn from Walgreens’ expensive lesson (hint:...

You may already have read the scintillating facts surrounding a jury award of $1.44 million (recently challenged unsuccessfully on appeal) against Walgreen Co. (Walgreens) following its pharmacist’s alleged inappropriate...more

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