Personally Identifiable Information Healthcare

News & Analysis as of

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

Medical Devices And Risks Of Unauthorized Disclosure Of Protected Health Information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) kicked off the holiday season by publishing a settlement agreement under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)...more

Recent Amendments to Security Breach Notification Laws Further Complicate Breach Notification for Employers

It is not a matter of "if" but "when" an employer will be required to notify employees of a security breach.  Forty-seven states require employers to notify employees when defined categories of personal information, including...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

Purchasing Cyber Insurance? Important Considerations from the Recent Nossaman/ UCI Cyber Symposium

On October 12, 2015, Nossaman and UC Irvine hosted a Cyber Symposium at the City Club in Los Angeles. The event included four panels of Nossaman lawyers, UCI professors, and private professionals who are experts in the areas...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

OIG issues Alert to “remind” providers that information blocking may affect safe harbor protection

On October 6, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services issued OIG Policy Reminder: Information Blocking and the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which “reminds” providers that...more

Experts cite employee wellness programs as area of data privacy concern

In an effort to curb rising healthcare costs, many employers have introduced wellness programs, which use assessments and motivators to improve employee health. Such programs collect information from various sources including...more

HIPAA Fine Underscores OCR’s Focus on Physician Group Compliance

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced a $750,000 fine and resolution agreement, including a Corrective Action Plan (CAP), for Cancer Care Group, P.C. (CCG), a...more

“My, what beautiful eyes you have . . .” – Biometric Data and Privacy

Biometric data – obviously not in just the movies anymore. It is alive, well, and increasingly being used in our everyday society. But, on September 23, 2015, when the Office of Personnel Management revealed that fingerprint...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

VA OIG reports patient data at risk with vendor

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General recently issued a report, following a complaint that the VA Palo Alto Health Care System put veterans’ health information at risk when it allowed personnel of a...more

Evolving Litigation of Data Breach Claims

An Illinois circuit court judge has dismissed five of six claims in a consolidated class action against Advocate Health and Hospital Corporation arising from a data breach in July 2013. The judge’s dismissal with prejudice...more

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield sued for data breach announced last week

Within days of Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shields’ (Excellus) announcement that its data had been accessed by a hacker through a “sophisticated” cyber-attack, two law firms teamed up to file a proposed class action suit last...more

State Data Breach Notification Requirements Specifically Applicable to Insurers

Almost all U.S. states and territories have enacted breach notification laws requiring private and/or government entities to notify individuals when their personal information is compromised....more

Blog: Excellus is Latest in Line of BCBS Insurers Experiencing Cyberattack

Excellus, a BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) provider servicing upstate New York, announced last week that it was the latest in a string of BCBS providers that experienced a data breach as a result of a cyberattack. CareFirst...more

Don’t Wait for It; Recent HIPAA Enforcement Action Signal More to Come in Phase 2 Audits

Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) have recently selected a vendor to conduct the second wave of HIPAA audits. These so-called “Phase 2 Audits” are set to commence...more

Don't Wait for It; Recent HIPAA Enforcement Action Signal More to Come in Phase 2 Audits

Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) have recently selected a vendor to conduct the second wave of HIPAA audits. These so-called "Phase 2 Audits" are set to commence...more

Advocate Health class action lawsuit trimmed

Last week, an Illinois judge dismissed with prejudice five of the six claims levied against Advocate Health Care in a consolidated case of ten cases filed against it following the data breach it experienced in July of 2013...more

How to Avoid and Respond to a Cybersecurity Breach

In light of numerous recent data breaches, cybersecurity has emerged as an issue impacting organizations ranging from the local hardware store to the largest multi-national firms in the world. In short, no industry is immune...more

OCR Enters into $750,000 Settlement with Physician Practice for HIPAA Violations

On September 2, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced a settlement with Cancer Care Group, P.C., a thirteen-physician oncology practice in Indiana related to violations of the...more

OCR settlement reiterates importance of proactive security rule compliance

On September 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that Cancer Care Group, P.C. (CCG), a physician practice located in Indiana, agreed to pay $750,000 as part of a settlement to resolve...more

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