Protected Health Information

News & Analysis as of

Think You Know Your HIPAA-Related Obligations? Read the ONC’s New Privacy and Security Guide to Find Out

In 2013, we alerted you to the expansion of the definition of the term “business associate” under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Now, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health...more

Also In the News - Data, Privacy, & Security Practice Report - May 2015

ONC Releases Updated Guide To Privacy And Security of Electronic Health Information ? The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) recently released Version 2.0 of the Guide to Privacy and...more

Comingling of employee and patient data compromises employer’s HIPAA defense to employee’s claim of discharge for union activity

An administrative law judge (ALJ) of the National Labor Relations Board has concluded that a health care employer’s use of its medical records software to store employee contact information allowed an employee to access that...more

Issues Concerning Medical Identity Theft

Whenever a large data breach occurs in the healthcare industry, such as the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield breach this past winter, some news stories always seem to focus on the strange medical catastrophes that could...more

OCR Launches Phase 2 HIPAA Audit Program with Pre-Audit Screening Surveys

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) covered entities have reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently sent pre-audit screening surveys...more

OCR Announces Settlement and Corrective Action Plan with Pharmacy Stemming from Alleged Violations

On April 24, 2015, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) once again stressed the importance of properly disposing of protected health information (“PHI”) when it announced its settlement and corrective action plan with...more

Why the Health Care Industry Needs to Focus on Data-Flow Restrictions in China

U.S. health care providers, device manufacturers, lab managers, health information technology and telemedicine/telehealth project investors, and other industry members involved in projects in China, need to be aware of a long...more

Blog: Updated Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Information Released by ONC and OCR

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in collaboration with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released its new updated guidance for the privacy and security of electronic...more

OCR Transmits Pre-Audit Screening Surveys to Covered Entities for Phase 2 HIPAA Compliance Audits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently transmitted HIPAA pre-audit screening surveys to covered entities that may be selected for a second phase of HIPAA compliance audits...more

ONC Releases Privacy and Security Guidance Geared Toward Small Providers

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) recently released a new and improved version 2.0 of their Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information. This revamped...more

What to Do if You Receive a Subpoena for Documents From the US Department of Justice

Receiving an unexpected Department of Justice (“DOJ”) subpoena for documents and testimony is a jarring experience for anyone in Government contracting. But more and more contractors may receive such subpoenas as the...more

OCR Enforcement of HIPAA Affects Entities of all Sizes Small Pharmacy Enters into Latest Settlement

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced late last week that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (Cornell) agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996...more

OCR Announces Another HIPAA Settlement and Warns Not to Forget About Paper Records

On April 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (“Cornell Pharmacy”) had entered into a resolution agreement to settle,...more

Revised Guidance for Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information Released by Government

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) has released a revised Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information (the “Guide”), which is intended to be a resource for...more

HIPAA “Phase 2” Audits: Are You Ready?

The Civil Rights Office of the Department of Health and Human Services announced a “Phase 2” audit program in the Fall of 2014. That audit program was delayed due to funding issues, but appears to be back on schedule for...more

Be Careful with Information Destruction: Another Medical Record Disposal HIPAA Settlement

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently announced a new settlement with a small pharmacy, Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (“Cornell”). OCR alleged that Cornell was disposing of...more

HIPAA Enforcement Remains a Concern for Providers of All Sizes

On Monday, April 27, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") announced a settlement with Cornell Prescription Pharmacy ("Cornell"). Under the Resolution Agreement, Cornell...more

OCR Settles Alleged HIPAA Violations with Small, Single Location Pharmacy for $125,000 – Emphases Importance for Secure Disposal...

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced yesterday a new settlement relating to potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996...more

$125k HIPAA settlement for small, single-location pharmacy

A settlement announced this week by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) reminds us of the importance of properly disposing of paper medical records. OCR and Cornell Prescription...more

Data Breach Nightmare Scenario: News Affiliate Reports Improper Disposal of Patient Information

A tip from a local Denver news outlet lead to a compliance review, investigation and ultimately a resolution agreement between the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) and Denver-based...more

Colorado Compounding Pharmacy Enters Six-Figure Settlement Agreement to Settle Alleged HIPAA Privacy Rule Violations

On April 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (CPP), a single-location pharmacy in the Denver, Colo. metropolitan area, agreed to settle alleged HIPAA...more

HHS Settlement: Dumpster-Diving Leads to Settlement for Improper Disposal of Documents Containing Protected Health Information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS) recently announced that it has reached an agreement with a small pharmacy to resolve potential HIPAA violations. The settlement arose from the...more

HIPAA Rules and Procedures in the Event of a Data Breach, Part One

As discussed in my prior post, recent massive data breaches at major retailers and health insurance providers paint a bleak picture of modern data and emphasize the importance of strong security safeguards and plans for...more

ONC Updated Electronic Health Information Privacy/Security Guidance

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released a revised Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information. The guide is intended to help health care providers –...more

Blog: HIPAA FAQ Series: Do You Need a BAA with Your Cloud Storage Provider?

This week, the HIPAA FAQ series continues with another topic about business associate agreements (BAAs). As most Covered Entities and Business Associates know, in the event that a Covered Entity utilizes a service provider...more

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