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Health Update - February 2015

Cyber Risk Insurance Policies: What You Need to Know - Editor’s Note: As data breach incidents and related cyber risks continue to increase and gain publicity—and government agencies become more actively involved in...more

Preparing for Phase 2 HIPAA Audits: It’s All About the Documentation

The launch of Phase 2 HIPAA audits is imminent. Although any individual hospital has only a small chance of getting audited, preparation helps protect a hospital if it is ever investigated for potential HIPAA violations. In...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™

Millions Affected by Hackers’ Attack on Health Insurer Anthem, Inc. – “Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack,” announced Joseph Swedish, Anthem’s President and CEO. Anthem, Inc., formerly...more

Teen Posing as Physician Raises Security Concerns for Healthcare Employers

On January 13, 2015, a hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida discovered that an unidentified juvenile had been walking its halls dressed as a physician, wearing a lab coat with the hospital’s logo and a stethoscope. According...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

HIPAA Privacy During Emergency Situations

A patient arrives at your facility with Ebola-like symptoms. After taking the necessary precautions, you run the requisite tests, conduct a patient interview, and determine that in fact the patient has contracted the Ebola...more

On the Tenth Day of Privacy, OCR Gave to Me…..

……………..a cumbersome C-A-P The U.S Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has received tremendous publicity in recent years for its upward-trendingfines and aggressive enforcement of HIPAA...more

Health Update - November 2014

“Healthcare-Related” Calls: Ambiguity at the Intersection of HIPAA and TCPA - Editor’s Note: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established exemptions from certain requirements of the Telephone Consumer...more

HHS Issues Special HIPAA Guidance for Ebola Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"), released a bulletin last week addressing how covered entities (including certain health care providers and employer group health...more

Birmingham Medical News: Are You Ready for the Upcoming HIPAA Compliance Audits?

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights ("OCR") announced its plan for a number of audits regarding compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of...more

Health Law Wire: Expanding HIPAA Liability for Healthcare Providers (11/14)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), while requiring protected health information be kept private, does not provide for a private right of action based on a HIPAA violation. Rather, an individual...more

HIPAA Isn’t the Only Standard for Confidentiality

Nobody knows better than hospitals how difficult, complicated and expensive it is to comply with the confidentiality requirements of HIPAA (for Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act). And hospitals and their...more

Employers: How Prepared Are You for Ebola?

Rapidly changing circumstances raise workplace questions. The Ebola epidemic in 2014 has already been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as the worst in history. The extent of this outbreak is...more

HIPAA Violation Results in $4.8 Million Settlement: An IT Perspective

In today’s healthcare industry, information technology (“IT”) systems play an ever-expanding role in the success of a medical practice. Medical practitioners consistently juggle e-billing and electronic medical records...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - September 2014 #3

Congressman Sends Letter to Secretary of HHS Urging Her to Retract CMS’s Global Settlement Offer – On September 15, 2014, Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Tex), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, sent a...more

“Access Denied” – Understand How Your Electronic Health Records Are Controlled

Earlier this week, my colleague Dianne Bourque commented on a small medical practice’s inability to access its patients’ medical records one July day after its EHR vendor blocked the practice from pulling the data stored in...more

Massive Data Breach Affects 4.5 Million Patients in 29 States

Community Health Systems, Inc. (the “Company”), one of the largest hospital organizations in the country, announced via a public filing (Form 8K) made yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Report”) that the...more

Class Action Plaintiffs Look to Fair Credit Reporting Act for Private Relief from Data Breaches Involving Health Information

A recent class action brought against the University of Miami (“University”) previews what could become an emerging trend among plaintiffs’ class action attorneys to seek damages for the unauthorized disclosure of personal...more

Hospital Operator Reports 4.5 Million Patients’ Data Stolen in Cyberattack

The Tennessee-based acute-care hospital chain Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS), reported on August 18 that information on approximately 4.5 million patients was stolen from the company. CHS is one of the largest hospital...more

4.5 Million Patients’ Information Stolen by Hackers

Community Health Systems Inc. (“CHS”), a Tennessee-based hospital provider, has reported it was the target of data hackers who were able to obtain identification information belonging to approximately 4.5 million CHS...more

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

Unnecessary Surgeries Put Hospital in Three-Front War

When the government accuses a hospital of committing Medicare fraud by billing for unnecessary surgeries, the hospital has a real problem on its hands. It’s at war with the government, and that’s expensive, as well as...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

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