Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Protected Health Information

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 Network Reports Large HIPAA Breach

Community Health Systems announced yesterday, August 18th, that hackers broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients. ...more

Massachusetts Enforces Data Security Regulations Against Out-of-State Entity

On July 23, 2014, the Massachusetts Attorney General announced a consent judgment with an out-of-state Rhode Island hospital, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island (“WIH” or the “Hospital”), resolving a lawsuit against WIH...more

Federal Prosecutors Bring Criminal Charges against Individual for Alleged HIPAA Violation

Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Texas recently brought criminal charges under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) against a former East Texas hospital employee. The former...more

Rhode Island Hospital’s Breach of Health Information Leads to Settlement with Massachusetts Attorney General

On July 23, 2014, the Massachusetts attorney general announced a settlement with Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island (WIH) over the loss of unencrypted backup tapes. WIH agreed to pay $150,000 and undertake numerous...more

No Harm, No Foul – Appellate Court Finds No CMIA Claim Without Actual Injury

California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 56 et seq. (“CMIA”), provides that an individual may recover $1,000 nominal damages (plus actual damages if any) based on the negligent release of...more

OCR to Begin Phase 2 of HIPAA Audit Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will soon begin a second phase of audits (Phase 2 Audits) of compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)...more

HIPAA Violation Results in $4.8 Million Settlement

While most healthcare providers know to pay close attention to the HIPAA rules when setting up their information technology systems, recent events have demonstrated that this close scrutiny should also be applied to computer...more

HIPAA Data Breaches

HIPAA has been on the books since 1996. With the advent of electronic health records, HHS adopted security regulations to require covered entities to protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of electronic...more

California Court Limits Liability for Loss of Certain Patient Information under CMIA

California appellate courts are clarifying potential liability under California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 56 et seq. (“CMIA”) of health care providers, health plans, pharmaceutical...more

New Connecticut Pharmacy Rewards Disclosure Bill Took Effect July 1

On June 12th, Connecticut governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law ”An Act Concerning Pharmacy Rewards Programs And Protected Health Information“. The law went into effect July 1st, and applies to pharmacy retailers in the...more

Health System Pays $800,000 Fine for Leaving PHI in Doctor’s Driveway

While enforcement activity by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has focused primarily on a covered entity’s safeguard of electronic protected health information (ePHI),...more

Health System Investigated for Leaving PHI in Doctor’s Driveway – Settles with OCR for $800K

While OCR enforcement activity has focused on a covered entity’s safeguarding of ePHI, organizations cannot forget about PHI in non-electronic form. To settle potential violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, Parkview Health...more

D’oh! OCR Confirms that Medical Records Should Not be Left in the Driveway

The most recent Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) HIPAA enforcement action serves as an important reminder to health care providers of the security risks associated with a mishandled medical records custody transfer and the...more

Health Law Alert: The Deadline for Amending Business Associate Agreements is Quickly Approaching

A key change from 2013’s HITECH “Omnibus” Rule was a requirement that Business Associate Agreements (“BAAs”) be modified to reflect revisions to HIPAA regulations. When the rule was issued on January 25, 2013, Covered...more

$800,000 Medical Records Dumping Settlement: Expensive Reminder that HIPAA Applies to Paper Records, Too

A 2009 incident involving the dumping of 71 boxes of medical records will cost an Indiana-based health system, Parkview Health System, Inc. (“Parkview”), $800,000 for alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and...more

HHS Reports to Congress highlight HIPAA Compliance and Breach Activities

On June 11, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued two reports to Congress summarizing activities in calendar years 2011 and 2012. The Annual Report to Congress on...more

Five Lessons from OCR’s Report to Congress on Breaches and HIPAA Rules Compliance

Last week, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released two reports required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act: (i) the Annual Report to Congress on Breaches of Unsecured...more

The New "Meaningful Use" Landscape: A Transition from Incentives to Penalties - CMS Begins Enforcing Penalties for Failure to...

Starting in 2015, eligible physicians and hospitals participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Records Incentive Program who do not adopt "meaningful" use" certified electronic health record (EHR) technology will no...more

Health Law Alert: HIPAA Enforcement on the Rise, as OCR Audit Program Moves Forward

A recent settlement from New York—involving the largest fine levied to date in the history of HIPAA enforcement, a staggering $4.8 million imposed on two public hospitals—should remind health care providers, health plans and...more

FTC Uses Its "Unfair Acts" Power to Go After PHI Security Breach

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is moving forward with an administrative action against a small medical laboratory that suffered two data security breaches, resulting in its patients’ protected health information falling...more

Human Error Biggest Threat to Patient Data Security and Privacy

Human error remains the biggest threat to healthcare data privacy, according to the latest study on patient privacy and data security by the Ponemon Institute. Healthcare organizations also continue to struggle with...more

CMS and ONC Propose Rule to Help Providers Make Use of EHR and to Extend Timeline for Meaningful Use

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced a proposed rule, on May 20, 2014, that would allow providers more flexibility...more

Proposed modifications to EHR Incentive Programs

Last year, HHS revised policies and definitions surrounding what constitutes certified EHR technology—required for meaningful use incentive program payment eligibility—from the 2011 Edition criteria to the 2014 Edition...more

CMS and ONC Issue Proposed Rule Modifying 2014 Requirements for EHR Incentive Programs and Certified EHR Technology

On May 23, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a proposed rule to modify (i) the meaningful use stage timeline of...more

Failure to Encrypt Mobile Devices = Nearly $2 Million in Settlements

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) settled for the collective amount of $1,975,220 with Concentra Health Services (Concentra) and QCA Health Plan, Inc. (QCA). The settlements stem...more

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