Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1996 to provide greater protection for individual's medical information and prescribe standards for the... more +
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1996 to provide greater protection for individual's medical information and prescribe standards for the manner in which healthcare professionals gather, use, and maintain health information.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Hospital Text Messaging Rules Placed on Hold by Joint Commission

The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals and other health care organizations, hit pause on its prior May 2016 announcement to allow secure text messaging in hospitals and other health care organizations. The use of...more

2.7 Million Dollar HIPAA Settlement

Last week, Oregon Health & Science University (“OHSU”) agreed to pay $2.7 million to resolve potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Security Rule, Privacy Rule, and...more

The EEOC's View of Wellness Programs

The EEOC’s regulations allayed many concerns over the permissible level of incentives/penalties, as well as the challenge of dealing with inconsistent requirements under the various laws. Originally published in The HR...more

Is Ransomware a Notifiable Data Breach Event?

There is no doubt that companies face unprecedented volume and variation in both disruptive and intrusive cyberattacks on their networks. Among the different attack methodologies today, ransomware is quickly becoming a major...more

Two Multi-Million Dollar HIPAA Settlements Emphasize Importance of a Comprehensive Security Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced two settlements of more than $2 million each with respect to alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and...more

Health Update - July 2016

The Vulnerability of Healthcare Information - According to a report the Brookings Institute issued in May 2016, 23% of all data breaches occur in the healthcare industry. Nearly 90% of healthcare organizations had some...more

DMEC Conference Focuses on Leaves and Reasonable Accommodation

Last week, the Disability Management Employer Coalition held its annual conference in New Orleans. The conference focused on how employers can bring individuals with disabilities into the workplace and manage their needs once...more

Boosts in Ransomware Attacks Spark Multiple Government Agency Responses

Following a recent U.S. government interagency report indicating that, on average, there has been an alarming 300 percent spike in daily ransomware attacks since early 2016 as compared with 2015, the U.S. Department of Health...more

Can Using Social Media Lead to a Lawsuit?

In an era where technology is not only constantly evolving, but prevalent in nearly every aspect of our lives, it is only fitting to discuss the legal implications of social media. This includes everything from defamation...more

Unplanned EHR Disruptions–Common for Hospitals

The prevalence of ransomware attacks is increasing. In fact, “[o]n average, more than 4,000 ransomware attacks have occurred daily since January 1, 2016,” according to a recent interagency government report. Given this...more

University of Mississippi Medical Center settles HIPAA violations for $2.75M

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has obtained another big settlement from a covered entity resulting from a data breach. This most recent settlement of fines and penalties and a Resolution Agreement is with the University of...more

OCR Makes It Official: Ransomware Attacks Are HIPAA Breaches

Ransomware attacks appear to be increasing in frequency as well as severity. Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts data until a ransom is paid to the hacker. For healthcare providers, the inability to access...more

HHS Releases Guidance On Ransomware And HIPAA

On July 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) published new guidance on the how HIPAA applies to ransomware prevention and attacks. Specifically, the guidance lays out...more

HHS: Ransomware Attacks Can Trigger Reporting Requirements

On July 11, 2016, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released new HIPAA guidance regarding ransomware. The Fact Sheet, issued by OCR on July 11, covers various issues relating to ransomware, including reporting...more

Healthcare Newsletter: Volume 6, Number 1

Recent Developments in Mental Health Benefit Denials - The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Parity Act) requires health plans to provide the same coverage for mental health conditions as they provide for...more

OCR’s Recent $2.7 Million Settlement with Oregon Health & Science University Highlights the Importance of HIPAA Compliance...

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) recently entered into a resolution agreement to settle potential violations of HIPAA’s Privacy and...more

Prevailing in an Era of Regulatory Enforcement – Balancing Risk and Compliance [Expect Focus – Vol. II, July 2016]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT - - SEC Sanctions Unregistered EB-5 Investments Broker SECURITIES - - FINRA to Assess Member Firms’ Culture - SEC Seeks Fund Responses to Distribution-In-Guise Guidance...more

HHS OCR Guidance on Ransomware Attacks: They Constitute a “Security Incident” and Are Likely a Data Breach

On July 11, 2016, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released guidance on HIPAA covered entities’ responsibilities in a ransomware attack, a type of cyber-attack that has targeted the health care sector extensively in...more

Report Warns Providers of HIPAA Violations When Responding to Negative Online Reviews

ProPublica, a public interest investigative newsroom, recently identified more than 3,500 one-star medical reviews on Yelp in which patients complained about privacy issues. ProPublica determined that “in dozens of instances,...more

Protected Health Information: Providers Must Proceed with Caution

Medical records are a powerful weapon in the courtroom. They may reveal the extent of an individual’s injury in a personal injury case or substantiate the severity of an individual’s mental illness when that mental illness is...more

Is encryption the key to your data security?

With the increased rate of data breaches targeting personal information, an increased public awareness of online privacy, and an increasingly demanding regulatory landscape, large and small businesses are looking to...more

Ransomware Attack is a Breach – Unless You Can Prove Otherwise

Ransomware is the fastest growing malware threat in the United States, targeting simple home computers to elaborate corporate IT networks. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently reported an increase in ransomware...more

OCR Announces First HIPAA Enforcement Action against a Business Associate

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced an agreement with Catholic Health Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CHCS), settling allegations that CHCS violated the Health...more

More (MACRA) Data Analysis, Please

On July 1, CMS finalized new MACRA rules that significantly expand how qualified data entities will be allowed to share or sell analyses of Medicare and private claims data to providers, insurers, employers, and others who,...more

Significantly More Information to Be Collected Under the Proposed Form 5500

If adopted, the changes would be effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. The revisions affecting pension plans, and details regarding changes to Schedules H and I that affect funded plans (such as...more

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