News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

Healthcare Law: What Every Provider Should Know

Healthcare is an incredibly broad, diverse and dynamic industry. Because of the breadth in the field, providers are surrounded by a wide array of legal issues relating to: employment contracts, taxes, business structure,...more

HHS Announces $800,000 HIPAA Settlement in Medical Records “Dumping” Case

On June 23, 2014, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entered into an $800,000 settlement with Parkview Health System, Inc. (“Parkview”), a nonprofit community health system servicing northeastern Indiana and...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

Privacy Wednesday

What’s that old saying … “a day late and a dollar short?” Here is our Privacy Monday roundup … on Wednesday. Office for Civil Rights HIPAA Crackdown? The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) — the enforcement arm of...more

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