Health Care Providers Protected Health Information

News & Analysis as of

Yuba Sutter Medical Center Hit With Ransomware

Yuba Sutter Medical Center in California (Yuba Sutter) has notified its patients that it has suffered a recent ransomware attack that caused parts of its network to be incapacitated. As a result, patient files were unable to...more

Health Care E-Note - September 2016

In an article published in the September 2016 MASA Newsletter, Jim Hoover and Angie Cameron Smith discuss how physicians should properly respond to subpoenas and requests for patients’ health information. They stress how...more

Physicians Must Be Cautious When Responding To A Subpoena or Request for Medical Records

Doctors must educate themselves and particularly their staff on the legal obligations to protect the confidentiality of medical records and how to properly respond to subpoenas and requests for patients’ health information....more

September Privacy and Security Updates

Although National Cyber Security Month isn’t until October, September has brought plenty of privacy and security updates that health care companies need to be aware of. In this post, we review guidance from the Office for...more

Information From 700+ Patients Stolen from LAC+USC Medical Center

Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center (LAC+USC) has notified patients that the protected health information of over 700 patients seen in the LAC+USC neurosurgery clinic was stolen from an employee’s car. The information,...more

MedStar Health Cardiology Associates Employee Emails Patient Information to Personal Account and Gets Fired

MedStar Health Cardiology Associates, (“MedStar Cardiology”) affiliated with MedStar Health, which was recently in the news for a ransomware attack, discovered that an employee sent protected health information of 907...more

SCAN Health Plan Notifies Patients of Data Breach Affecting 87,000 Individuals

SCAN Health Plan of California, SCAN Health Plan Arizona, and VillageHealth are in the process of notifying certain plan members and non-plan members of a breach of protected health information, including names, addresses,...more

Orleans Medical Clinic Notifies 6,890 Patients of Data Breach

Orleans Medical Clinic (Orleans) in Indiana has notified the Office for Civil Rights that the protected health information of 6,890 patients was compromised as a result of an upgrade to its server. Orleans is in the process...more

Outer Banks Hospital Reports Breach of PHI In Loss of Two Thumb Drives

Everybody knows how much I hate USB and thumb drives. The latest scheme is for hackers to leave thumb drives in coffee shops, airports, office buildings, libraries and other public places. These USB and thumb drives contain...more

HIPAA Breaches: Size Doesn't Necessarily Matter

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) made headlines this month with a record $5.55 million HIPAA settlement reached with Advocate Health Care System, Illinois’ largest health care...more

No HIPAA Hall Pass for Business Associates and Small Breaches

Phase 2 Audits of Business Associates: The Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is in the process of conducting its phase 2 audits of Covered Entities and Business Associates. “Covered...more

Healthcare Compliance: Juggling Risk Mitigation Strategies

Healthcare organizations – ranging from physician practice groups to large, multi-state hospital systems – face a variety of risks, including fraud and abuse, as well as HIPAA privacy issues. Starting from a baseline risk...more

Small Breaches Matter Too: OCR Broadens HIPAA Breach Investigations

The Regional Offices of the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) already investigate every reported Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) breach affecting 500 or more...more

Locky Ransomware Continues to Hit Health Care Entities

FireEye Labs has reported that the Locky ransomware continues to hit the health care industry hard, and has increased in the month of August. Although the telecommunications, manufacturing and aerospace/defense...more

Agencies Encourage New Privacy Regulations to Close the mHealth Black Hole and Keep Pace with Evolving Technologies

On July 19, 2016, the ONC submitted a report to Congress which suggests that health privacy regulations soon may be revised to catch up with the universe of mHealth technologies that now use and share personal health data....more

Ransomware and Malware Continue to Plague Health Care Organizations

We continue to warn health care organizations about the real and serious risks associated with ransomware and malware, but organizations don’t prepare for it adequately and are getting hit hard. Just this past week,...more

Illinois’ Largest Health System Agrees to Stringent HIPAA Breach Settlement

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on August 4, 2016, a settlement agreement with Advocate Health Care Network, an integrated healthcare system with ten hospitals and a...more

HSS Issues New Guidance on Ransomware Attacks Against HIPAA-Covered Entities

Ransomware attacks at hospitals and other healthcare facilities have dramatically increased over the last several years, putting healthcare providers in the uncomfortable position of having to consider paying thousands of...more

Record HIPAA Settlement Paid by Hospital Chain

Federal regulators announced last week that Illinois’ largest hospital chain would pay $5.5 million, a record payment under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), in connection with three 2013 data...more

HIPAA Hat Trick: Security Violations Lead to Three Major Settlements

Look no further than the last three weeks for proof that HIPAA enforcement is on the rise. Failure to maintain the security of information systems containing patient information has cost healthcare providers over $10...more

Illinois Revises Data Privacy Statute

Earlier this year, Illinois enacted a number of changes to the Illinois Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”). The amendments to PIPA, among other things, expand the definition of personal information subject to...more

Ransomware Reporting Requirements & New HHS Guidance

Ransomware is malicious software that denies access to data, usually by encrypting the data with a private encryption key that is only provided once a ransom is paid. Sometimes the ransomware will actually destroy, steal, or...more

Health Alert (Australia) August 1, 2016

In This Issue: - Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. - Excerpts from Judgments: - Victoria 27 July 2016 - Hamm v South Gippsland SC [2016] VCAT 1253 - South Gippsland Shire Council issued a...more

Athens Orthopedic Clinic’s EMR compromised by hackers using vendor’s log-in credentials

Athens Orthopedic Clinic in Georgia reported on July 25, 2016, that a hacker gained access to its electronic medical record system at the end of June using the log-in credentials of a third-party vendor....more

Behavioral health provider StarCare Specialty notifies 2,900 patients of breach of PHI

StarCare Specialty Health System, located in Lubbock, Texas, is notifying 2,900 patients “who received Intellectual Developmental Disabilities program services, Behavioral Health program services, and Therapeutic Treatment...more

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