Personally Identifiable Information Healthcare

News & Analysis as of

UMass Amherst Settles HIPAA Violations with OCR for $650,000

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced that the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) has agreed to settle an investigation against it as a result of a malware infection for $650,000, along with implementing a...more

Critical Cyber-Attack on Hospitals Now A Reality- A View From ‘Across the Pond’

Serious trouble for all health and care providers looms large. High risk women in labour and major trauma cases are being diverted to other hospitals after a cyber-attack recently shut down services at a hospital in the...more

Confusing Joint Guidance published by OCR and FTC on HIPAA Authorization Forms

There are arguments that there is a dearth of guidance by both the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), so when guidance comes out, we listen. But the most recent guidance jointly issued by the...more

HHS Publishes New Guidance on HIPAA and Cloud Computing

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new guidance regarding HIPAA compliance and the use of cloud computing solutions. The guidance is intended to assist covered entities...more

St. Joseph Health Settles with OCR for $2.14 Million

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced that it has entered into a settlement with St. Joseph Health, which operates hospitals and nursing homes in California, Texas and New Mexico, for $2.14 million for alleged HIPAA...more

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance on Student Medical Records

On September 14, 2016, the Department of Education (DOE) issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” to provide guidance on the application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the disclosure of student medical...more

Surgeon General Notifies Employees of Breach

According to the Surgeon General of the United States, the personal information of current, former and retired employees of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and their dependents has been compromised....more

Central Ohio Urology Group Notifies 300,000 Patients of Breach

Approximately 300,000 patients of Central Ohio Urology Group have been notified that their protected health information has been stolen and posted online. Although the actual date of the hacking has not been released,...more

16 data breach class action lawsuits filed again 21st Century Oncology consolidated

We previously reported that 21st Century Oncology suffered a data breach in October 2015 involving an intrusion into its systems which compromised around 2 million patients’ records, including their names, Social Security...more

Small-Breach Focus Shows Growing Scope Of HIPAA Probes

Flexing yet more enforcement muscle under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, on Aug. 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights announced that it will more widely...more

Information From 700+ Patients Stolen from LAC+USC Medical Center

Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center (LAC+USC) has notified patients that the protected health information of over 700 patients seen in the LAC+USC neurosurgery clinic was stolen from an employee’s car. The information,...more

MedStar Health Cardiology Associates Employee Emails Patient Information to Personal Account and Gets Fired

MedStar Health Cardiology Associates, (“MedStar Cardiology”) affiliated with MedStar Health, which was recently in the news for a ransomware attack, discovered that an employee sent protected health information of 907...more

SCAN Health Plan Notifies Patients of Data Breach Affecting 87,000 Individuals

SCAN Health Plan of California, SCAN Health Plan Arizona, and VillageHealth are in the process of notifying certain plan members and non-plan members of a breach of protected health information, including names, addresses,...more

Orleans Medical Clinic Notifies 6,890 Patients of Data Breach

Orleans Medical Clinic (Orleans) in Indiana has notified the Office for Civil Rights that the protected health information of 6,890 patients was compromised as a result of an upgrade to its server. Orleans is in the process...more

3.3 Million Health Records Breached by Business Associate Newkirk

Newkirk Products Inc., which provides ID cards and management services for healthcare organizations, including multiple Blue Cross Blue Shield organizations, has announced that it has discovered that its computer system was...more

Final Order against Practice Fusion Approved by FTC

On August 16, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the final order resolving its privacy complaints against Practice Fusion. The complaint alleged that Practice Fusion “misled consumers by soliciting reviews for...more

Plaintiffs Cannot Bring Data Breach Lawsuits Without Evidence That Information Will Be Used To Harm

The latest development in how American courts will handle the standing question for data breach class actions came last week when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed for lack of standing a putative...more

Illinois’ Largest Health System Agrees to Stringent HIPAA Breach Settlement

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on August 4, 2016, a settlement agreement with Advocate Health Care Network, an integrated healthcare system with ten hospitals and a...more

HIPAA News: HHS Getting Tough On ePHI Data Breaches

On August 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced a record-setting settlement with Advocate Health Care Network (Advocate) for multiple potential violations of HIPAA...more

Banner Health Begins to Notify 3.7 Million Patients This Week of Data Breach From Cyberattack

Phoenix, Arizona, based Banner Health (Banner), reportedly one of the largest health care organizations in the country, began notifying up to 3.7 million patients this week of a data breach of its computer systems that...more

Behavioral health provider StarCare Specialty notifies 2,900 patients of breach of PHI

StarCare Specialty Health System, located in Lubbock, Texas, is notifying 2,900 patients “who received Intellectual Developmental Disabilities program services, Behavioral Health program services, and Therapeutic Treatment...more

Medical Informatics data breach litigation centralized and transferred

We previously reported on the multiple data breach litigation suits filed against Medical Informatics Engineering, Inc. following a data breach in May, 2015....more

MaineGeneral Health suffers cyber-attack

MaineGeneral Health (MaineGeneral), located in Augusta, Maine notified employees and patients last week that personal information and protected health information was compromised in a cyber-attack last month. The health care...more

U.S. must crack down on small but hugely painful patient privacy breaches

Although Americans may live in dread about large-scale data breaches by big corporations, instances in which health care personnel inappropriately peek and tell information from patients’ private medical records can be...more

Triple-S settles HIPAA violations for $3.5M

Triple-S Management Corp., an insurance holding company based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, has agreed to settle an investigation of HIPAA violations by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for $3.5 million. According to the OCR...more

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