News & Analysis as of

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

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

Will you be shut-out if your college-age child has a medical emergency?

The time when a child goes off to college can be a stressful time for any parent. You know that you are giving up substantial control over your child’s safety and choices, but you may be relinquishing even more control than...more

FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Dissemination of Patient-Specific Information from Devices

On June 10, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance advising manufacturers on appropriate and responsible dissemination of patient-specific information from medical devices....more

Healthcare Lessons Learned From Reality TV

On March 31, 2016, a New York court determined that a lawsuit may proceed against a physician and hospital for breach of physician-patient confidentiality arising from a documentary series about medical trauma, NY Med. The...more

Reexamining HIPAA’s Applicability During Emergencies After the Tragedy in Orlando

Immediately following Sunday’s tragic shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, friends and family frantically gathered at Orlando Regional Medical Center, attempting to get information about their loved ones. However, hospital...more

Study Finds Widespread HIPAA Violations Occurring on Yelp

It is no secret that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a trap for the unwary. A recent study by the non-profit ProPublica has uncovered that the online review site Yelp (as well as other...more

Facebook, Healthcare Provider Websites and HIPAA

In a class action Complaint filed in the Northern District of California on March 15, 2016, Kiesel Law LLP, on behalf of primary plaintiff Winston Smith and a potential class of others, alleges that Facebook received...more

Two Additional HIPAA Settlements Demonstrate Breadth of HIPAA Enforcement Activity

During the week of April 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced two significant settlements with a large New York City hospital and a North Carolina orthopaedic...more

Lights, Camera, Settlement: OCR says a picture is worth $2.2 million

A New York hospital has settled with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) for $2.2 million after allowing a TV crew for the ABC documentary series “NY Med” to film patients...more

Not Everyone Wants to Be on TV

It turns out that not everyone wants to be on television. New York-Presbyterian found that out the hard way. Back in 2011 the hospital allowed a television camera crew inside treatment areas to record footage for the...more

Social Media for Physicians: Facebook or Faceplant?

Ever hear the one about the physician in an impaired provider program who appears in a Flickr photo with a martini in hand? How about the one about the physician's office manager who makes a comment on a patient's Facebook...more

Beware of Violating Patient Privacy Laws in Bankruptcy Claim Filings

Recent court filings highlight the need for health care providers to protect patient privacy by implementing specific procedures when filing claims in bankruptcy cases of their patients, as a matter of federal bankruptcy and...more

Provider Confusion and Interoperability Concerns Prompt OCR and ONC to Release Guidance on PHI Sharing

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (“ONC”) and the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released two fact sheets regarding permitted uses and disclosures...more

A sick use of cellphone pics, social media: staffers’ abuse of aged patients

Not all care-giving positions carry high status or lavish compensation. Still, why would anyone take on any health care work lacking basic common sense and the tiniest bit of compassion? That’s what you might be asking after...more

You Can’t Take It with You – NY Attorney General Reaches Settlement over Exiting Clinician Taking Patient List

It may not be a big dollar amount ($15,000), but a recent New York Attorney General settlement represents a big issue—interpreting that HIPAA prohibits a health care professional who is changing practices from taking a...more

PHI on the Cloud and White Label Covered Entities: HIPAA Challenges for Telemedicine Providers

Both telemedicine providers and technology companies that serve the telehealth industry face some unique and sometimes complicated challenges dealing with HIPAA, especially as it relates to the storage, transmission, and use...more

DWT Releases Latest Health Care Breach Charts

Safeguarding patient information is at the core of responsibilities for health care entities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). But safeguarding patient information isn’t just a regulatory...more

HIPAA Lessons from the Warner Chilcott Settlement

Last week, the US Attorney’s Office in Boston announced that drug company Warner Chilcott agreed to plead guilty to health care fraud and pay $125 million to resolve criminal and civil liability arising out of allegations...more

Data-Harvesting Zombie Hackers, Blood-Thirsty Auditors, and Other Reasons to be Scared on Halloween

This Halloween, the scariest monsters might not be in your closet or under your bed. They may be overseas, orchestrating intrusions into your electronic medical record. Or they may be lurking in your own workforce, carrying...more

HHS’ Selection of Contractor Provides Latest Update on Impending Second Round of HIPAA Audits

On October 27, 2015, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) official stated that the agency has hired FCi Federal, a provider of management and professional services to government agencies in Ashburn, VA, to...more

OIG Reports Insufficient Oversight Of HIPAA Compliance

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) must improve its oversight and enforcement of patient information privacy and security rules by “covered entities” and their business associates under the Health Information Portability...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

OIG Calls for Stronger HIPAA Compliance Efforts

The OIG has issued two reports calling for stronger ONC oversight of covered entity compliance with HIPAA standards. In the first report, “OCR Should Strengthen Its Oversight of Covered Entities’ Compliance with the HIPAA...more

HHS Issues Proposed Rule That Would Revise the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects

Proposals are Intended to Enhance Protections for Higher Risk Clinical Research and Privacy Safeguards, including Uses of Biospecimens and Identifiable Private Information - On September 8, 2015, the Department of Health...more

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