Protected Health Information

News & Analysis as of

Tax Developments Affecting Health Care Organizations (Presentation)

In this Issue: •Income recognition issues associated with bundled payment arrangements •Income recognition related to electronic health records •Developments involving the nonaccrual experience method of...more

OCR Releases Information on What Phase 2 HIPAA Audits Will Look Like

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently presented information about the new look of its Phase 2 audit program. The new audits will look little like the old ones, with OCR conducting the audits itself and focusing on...more

Federal agencies propose health IT regulatory framework, seek stakeholder input and participation in new initiatives

A little more than five years after the passage of the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Communications Commission and the Office of the...more

Government targets ‘risky business’ with free HIPAA assessment tool

Last week, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a toolkit for covered entities and business associates to use to perform a security risk assessment. The HIPAA Security Rule...more

HHS releases Security Risk Assessment Tool to Help Providers with HIPAA Compliance

In collaboration with the HHS Office for Civil Rights, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released a new tool designed to help practices conduct and document a comprehensive assessment to...more

HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool Released by HHS

HIPAA security risk assessment (SRA) tool was recently made available through HHS. The tool was developed as a collaborative effort between the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC),...more

New Resource Available to Providers for HIPAA Security Rule Compliance

On March 28, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced the release of a security risk assessment (“SRA”) tool to assist small- to mid-sized providers in conducting risk assessments of their...more

HIPAA Security Risk Analyses

As noted in Paul Kim and Hannah Whitman Clark's article regarding HIPAA Security Risk Analyses, CEs and BAs are required to review and update their risk assessments only under certain conditions after completing their initial...more

Security Rule Compliance: The Importance of Performing Regular Risk Analyses

It is likely that you are familiar with the HIPAA Security Rule’s mandate that covered entities and business associates document the decision making process that led to the selection of their means to achieve security for...more

HIPAA Complaint Seeks Class Action Status

A complaint filed in the Superior Court of California on March 14, 2014, requested certification as a class action and sought a wide variety of damages arising from a breach of personal information. Doe vs. Sutherland Health...more

Self-pay Confidentiality Rights: How Far Do Those Rights Go?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule has always provided an individual patient the right to request special, confidential treatment of his or her protected health information (PHI). That right is not absolute, however. Covered entities...more

Health Information Technology Policy Committee Approves MU Stage 3 Recommendations

On March 11, the Health IT Policy Committee (HITPC) voted to approve the meaningful use workgroup’s Stage 3 recommendations. The federal advisory committee’s recommendations will be presented to the Centers for Medicare &...more

The use of medical reports at trial – Campbell v. Roberts

The use of a physician’s medical reports at trial has been a recurring topic in the Courts recently. One of the issues that has been the focus of recent judicial commentary concerns the use that can be made of medical...more

First HIPAA Settlement with County Government

On March 6, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights settled potential HIPAA violations with the Skagit County Public Health Department in Washington State for $215,000. Initially, OCR’s...more

Hospital Executive Indicted for Allegedly Lying about Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records

A hospital executive was recently indicted for allegedly submitting a false attestation regarding a hospital’s “meaningful use” of electronic health records (“EHR”) technology through the Medicare EHR incentive program. This...more

Health Update

Ten Years In: Charting the Progress of Health Information Exchange in the U.S. - HITECH: Federal Dollars Spur Adoption and Use: The modern era of HIE-related public policy began in May 2004 with the appointment...more

FTC Hosts Public Workshop, “Examining Health Care Competition”

During the last several years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken an active role in antitrust enforcement in the health care industry, particularly with respect to hospital and physician group acquisitions. Last...more

Durable Power of Attorney Health Care Law Amended to Allow Immediate Access to Health Information

Recent changes to the durable power of attorney health care (“DPAHC”) law went into effect on March 20, 2014. Previously, an executed DPAHC would not operate to authorize the attorney in fact to obtain the principal’s...more

HHS Releases Guidance On Disclosure Of Mental Health Information Under HIPAA

The HHS Office for Civil Rights issued guidance in question-and-answer format clarifying when a provider may release information regarding a patient’s mental health to family members, friends, law enforcement, and others. The...more

Take 5 Newsletter: 5 Employment Law Considerations in "The Cloud"

What is "the cloud," and what on Earth (pun intended) does cloud computing have to do with employment law? While many definitions abound, cloud computing at its core is a form of remote electronic data storage,...more

CMS Expands Hardship Exemption for Stage 2 Meaningful Use

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced on March 11, 2014, an expansion of the hardship exemption available to eligible providers who were unable to attest to being meaningful users under the Stage 2 Meaningful Use Rule...more

Health Law Blog: County Government Settles Alleged HIPAA Violations

A small county in Washington has agreed to pay $215,000 to settle allegations that it violated HIPAA by failing to secure electronic protected health information. Skagit County maintained protected health information (“PHI”)...more

HHS Settlement: Reminder That HIPAA Applies To Local Governments Big And Small

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS) recently announced that it had reached an agreement with Skagit County, Washington to settle potential HIPAA violations involving the County...more

New Ponemon Study on Patient Privacy & Data Security Released

The Ponemon Institute’s Fourth Annual Study on Patient Privacy & Data Security, dated March of 2014 and sponsored by ID Experts, is now available. The study, involving a sample of 91 organizations, contains both good news and...more

HHS Reports First HIPAA Settlement with a County Government

According to a HHS press release issued last Friday, Skagit County, Washington, has agreed to a $215,000 settlement with the agency to resolve allegations that the county’s HIPAA compliance program was deficient. The Skagit...more

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