Protected Health Information

News & Analysis as of

Employer breached OHSA, collective agreement by sharing employee’s medical information with another employer

An arbitrator has decided that an operator of a long term care facility violated both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the collective agreement by sharing an employee’s medical information with another employer,...more

Newest Ponemon study released on health care data breaches

The Ponemon Institute has recently released its Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data. The study has included business associates for the past two years. The study included information received...more

Health Law Wire: Recent HIPAA Settlements Highlight the Importance of Business Associate Agreements (5/16)

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services that enforces the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, recently sent a clear message about the importance of business...more

Recent Settlements and Upcoming Audits Highlight the Continuing Need to Focus on Core HIPAA Compliance Measures

Recent settlements and initiatives conducted by the Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlight the continuing need for focus on compliance with the privacy and security...more

Intermedix data breach class action case dismissed

We previously reported that Intermedix was sued in a class action lawsuit regarding the data breach involving millions of patient records....more

Qui Tam Defendant’s Confidentiality-Breach Counterclaim Fails

What if a whistleblower discloses the protected health information (PHI) of privately insured patients in making the claim that his employer submitted false Medicare claims? And what if that violates a confidentiality...more

What's New with HIPAA?

A number of new developments have taken place related to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security compliance, and enforcement is increasing. Healthcare providers, health plans and other...more

Settlements reached for PHI Disclosures

In the last two months, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced two settlement agreements involving the disclosure of protected health information ("PHI"). In both instances, the health care...more

Joint Commission lifts ban on physicians texting patient orders

The Joint Commission, which is the national accrediting organization for health care organizations, has long banned physicians using text messages to place orders for patient care due to data security concerns. In 2011, the...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms Insurance Coverage for Cyber Claim Under CGL Policy

In a decision issued April 11, the Fourth Circuit added to a small but growing body of case law across the country finding coverage for cyber claims under traditional general liability insurance policies. In Travelers...more

Expansion of HIPAA audit program now underway

As detailed in our latest webinar, “Daunting but doable: Preparing for the next round of HIPAA audits,” the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has begun implementing the first full-phase HIPAA audit program. The 2009 HITECH Act,...more

Negotiating Software Agreements – Key Terms For Electronic Health Records

Healthcare providers (Providers) rely on third party vendors for providing Electronic Health Record (EHR) software services. Due to the amount of protected health information Providers store in these software services, and...more

Class Certification Improper in Data Breach Case, PA Appellate Court Finds

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a trial court's decision denying class certification in a data breach case against two health plans, reversing its own earlier ruling in the same case that the plaintiff did not...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

Phase 2 of the OCR HIPAA Audit Program Already Underway

On March 21, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the launch of the long-awaited Phase 2 HIPAA Audit Program (Phase 2), and OCR activities related to Phase 2 are already...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

Policyholder Takeaways From Portal

In a solid victory for policyholders, the Fourth Circuit upheld coverage last week for a potential data breach incident involving confidential medical records. The case is The Travelers Indemnity Co. of America v. Portal...more

Fourth Circuit Finds CGL Insurer Has Duty to Defend Cyber Claim

In Travelers Indem. Co. of Am. v. Portal Healthcare Solutions, L.L.C., 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 6554, decided on April 11, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found that a commercial general liability...more

Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic settles with OCR for $750,000 for lack of business associate agreement

Consistent with the settlement the OCR agreed to with North Memorial Health Care of Minnesota, the Office for Civil Rights has settled its investigation of Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic, P.A. (Raleigh Orthopaedic) for $750,000....more

New HIPAA Phase 2 Audits: Targets Notified by Email Only

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced the long-awaited launch of Phase 2 of its HIPAA Audit Program (Phase 2 Audits). The Phase 2 Audits will review the policies...more

New York Presbyterian Hospital Settles OCR HIPAA Investigation

On April 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced a $2.2 million settlement with The New York and Presbyterian Hospital (“NYP”) regarding NYP’s impermissible...more

Wyoming Medical Center victim of phishing scheme affecting 3,184 patients

Phishing incidents in February that may have compromised the data of 3,184 patients, including their names, dates of birth, medical record and account numbers, dates of service and medical information is causing Wyoming...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds Coverage Under CGL Policy for Data Breach Claims

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (“Fourth Circuit”) recently concluded that an insurer had a duty to defend a health care company that was sued by individuals whose personal health information was...more

Cybersecurity and Employee Benefit Plan Fiduciary Duties: Going Beyond HIPAA

It seems as though we hear about new cybersecurity issues every day — from traditional hacking incidents to the increasingly sophisticated phishing, malicious apps and websites, social engineering, and ransomware attacks. ...more

Spring Showers Bring HIPAA Breaches

OCR has announced several recent settlement agreements to resolve violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). These settlement amounts range from $25,000 to $3.9 million dollars and...more

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