News & Analysis as of

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

On the Trail for Pokémon – and HIPAA Compliance

Pikachu, Alakazam, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle can teach us a few things about HIPAA privacy. Pokémon GO is a recent craze encouraging people to try to catch’em all. As a result, employees, clients, and patients are...more

Oregon Health & Science University pays $2.7M penalty for data breaches

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has agreed to settle alleged HIPAA violations involving two separate data breaches with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for $2.7 million. In the span of three months in 2013,...more

Joint Commission Okays Texting of Patient Orders

The Joint Commission recently announced a change in its policies whereby it will now allow providers to communicate patient orders via text message. The policy applies to all Joint Commission accreditation programs. While the...more

Recent Enforcement Action: Business Associates Not Off the Hook

Despite the fact that Business Associates have been directly subject to and liable under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its implementing regulations (HIPAA) since February 18, 2010 the...more

BYOD Risks under HIPAA – Does Your HIPAA Compliance Program Adequately Address the Ever Increasing Use of Portable Electronic...

Many U.S. employers are now allowing employees to use their own personal handheld devices and laptop computers for work-related purposes. As the age of employer-provided devices is coming to an end and “bring your own device”...more

Business Associate Settles HIPAA Investigation for $650,000

The U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the agency responsible for enforcing the HIPAA Privacy and Security rules, has just sent a strong message that business associates are not immune from scrutiny. On June 24, 2016, in a...more

OCR levies first fine ever directly against business associate

Our predictions that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will become more aggressive with audits, investigations, and fines against HIPAA business associates has come true. On June 24, 2016, the OCR announced that it has...more

Bad News for HIPAA Business Associates: HHS OCR Announces $650,000 Settlement for BA Breach

Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (“CHCS”), a HIPAA business associate, has agreed to pay the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) $650,000 in connection with a...more

Maintaining Patient Privacy In The Digital Age

Those in the heavily regulated healthcare industry know that patient information is sacrosanct. And for good reason; improper handling can result in hefty fines or criminal prosecution under the Health Insurance Portability...more

HIPAA and Text Messaging

Text messaging is pervasive. Doctors and other health care providers, covered entities, and business associates currently use (and embrace) the technology. Texting is easy, fast and efficient. It doesn’t require a laptop...more

Alphabet Soup and Data Security

In the span of two days, mobile device users learned of two data breaches that could compromise their personal data. In one, Experian (a credit reporting agency) reported that it was hacked, potentially putting 15 million...more

Is Your HIPAA Compliance Program Ready for the FTC?

Everyone in healthcare knows that the next round of HIPAA audits is coming. Covered entities and business associates have long been advised to review and update their HIPAA security risk analyses, have business associate...more

Comment period extended for NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced that due to stakeholder feed-back, the period to submit comments for the draft guide, “Securing Electronic Health Records on Mobile Devices” has been extended...more

Recent Enforcement Shows the Importance of Encrypting Mobile Devices Containing Protected Health Information

With headlines every day announcing another release of Protected Health Information (PHI), providers are asking themselves – is there a way to protect against these breaches? Beyond improving the security of large...more

FCC Clarifies TCPA Exemptions for Health Care Calls

In 1991, Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), which was enacted to protect the privacy interests of consumers by placing restrictions on unsolicited contacts from automated telephone calls,...more

Time for a HIPAA Security Check-Up!

The 2015 HIPAA Security conference held by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) kicked off last week with OCR’s...more

[Webinar] Mobile Device Management for Health Care Organizations and Vendors - Sept. 10th, 10:00am PDT

In this webinar, we will demystify the HIPAA Security Rule and how to apply the administrative, physical, and technical safeguards in a mobile environment. We will discuss key takeaways from the recently released NIST Draft...more

NIST Standards Provides An Oasis Of Mobile Device Security In The EHR Desert

The healthcare industry has long awaited some certainty in the arena of mobile devices in light of the continued push for electronic health records (“EHR”) and coordinated care. The prevalence, convenience, and speed of such...more

Mobile Health Devices and Cybersecurity: Federal Guidance for Management of Threats in Medical Devices

New Technology = New Threats - With new technology comes new security concerns. But when that new technology is in the medical field, the cybersecurity vulnerabilities can be particularly devastating. The...more

New NIST Guide Advises Healthcare Companies on Securing Patient Health Information on Mobile Devices

In response to a growing demand for cybersecurity guidance in the health care industry, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), through its National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, recently published a...more

NIST Issues Draft Guidance for Mobile Health Data

With health care breaches constantly on the rise, increasing access to electronic health records (EHRs) from mobile devices, and more prevalent “shadow” cloud use, health care organizations are getting a bit of help from the...more

Cloud Sharing Apps Scrutinized for ePHI

In a relatively short time period, the direct costs of document storage have dropped precipitously, and cloud-based document storage has become ubiquitous. Clearly, this is a wave of the future. But a recent settlement...more

US Federal Communications Commission’s Recent Order Expands Potential Liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for...

“This Order will make abuse of the TCPA much, much easier. And the primary beneficiaries will be trial lawyers, not the American public.” That’s what FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai had to say in his dissent from the FCC’s recent...more

“Bring Your Own Device” To Work Programs: Regulatory and Legal Risks and How To Minimize Them

If you’ve ever left your mobile phone on an airplane, in a restaurant, or somewhere other than in your possession, you know it’s frightening enough to think of losing the device itself, which costs a premium, as well as your...more

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