Patient Privacy Rights Protected Health Information

News & Analysis as of

Access to College-Age Child's Health Care Information in a Medical Emergency

It’s hard to imagine what could be more frightening to a parent than to hear his or her child has experienced a medical emergency. But what if your child’s doctor refuses to speak with you about your child’s illness or...more

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

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

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

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

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

Proceed With Caution: Does HIPAA Apply to Your Business?

Even if your business is not in the health care industry, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as updated by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH...more

What Can You Expect in 2015 Regarding HIPAA Enforcement?

As of earlier this month, 1, 170 breaches involving 31 million records have been reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since mandated reporting of breaches began in September 2009.  An increase in the...more

Advertising Law - December 2014 #3

FCC Proposes Online Disclosures for Broadcast Contests - The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a rule change that would allow broadcast stations to disclose on the Internet the material terms for contests...more

HIPAA Settlement Continues to Emphasize the Importance of Security Policies and Procedures

A recently announced settlement between Anchorage Community Mental Health (“ACMHS”) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) emphasizes, once again, the importance of compliance with...more

Privacy Tuesday: December 2014 – The Twelve Days of Privacy 2014

Our series last year was a reader favorite, so we decided to put our prognosticator hats on again and present: Rather than look back at 2014, starting tomorrow, the Privacy & Security blog will count down The 12 Days...more

OIG’s New Work Plan Focuses on the Security of Health Information

On October 31, 2014, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its Work Plan for fiscal year (FY) 2015. The Work Plan summarizes “new and ongoing reviews of activities...more

HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations

In light of the Ebola outbreak and other events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, released a bulletin to ensure HIPAA covered entities are aware of the ways in which patient...more

Realizing the Potential of Telemedicine in China, Part 2: Data Privacy and Security

The Chinese market presents a tremendous opportunity for U.S. hospitals and providers, as long as the intricacies of data privacy and security issues are thoroughly understood. This includes Chinese regulations regarding...more

Health Update - October 2014

Like It or Not, Obamacare Is Reshaping the Healthcare Industry - Editor’s Note: As we approach the one-year anniversary of Obamacare’s launch, the pundits continue to argue over whether or not it’s working. Meanwhile,...more

Policyholders Face Heightened Scrutiny Under OCR’s New Permanent Audit Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has notably increased enforcement of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and Health Information...more

Thinking Outside the HIPAA Box

On Wednesday, May 7, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held the third of its Spring Seminars on emerging consumer privacy issues. This session focused on consumer-generated health information (CHI). CHI is data generated...more

Significant Changes to HIPAA Effective March 26, 2013

The following is a summary of the major changes to HIPAA under the new Final Rule: 1. Breach Notification Standard Lowered — In perhaps the most significant change under the Final Rule, the new regulations considerably...more

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