Protected Health Information

News & Analysis as of

Deadline Approaching to Report Certain HIPAA Breaches to Federal Officials

The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule requires covered entities to notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) if a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI) is discovered. As most...more

Privacy Tuesday - January 2015

Good Tuesday – The East Coast prepares for Apocalypse (Sn)ow. In the meantime, here are three privacy-related tidbits for your day. Privacy Concerns Cause Scale Back of Release of HealthCare.gov Data - We...more

New Jersey Imposes New Encryption Standards for PHI

New Jersey recently amended its privacy laws to now require health insurers and care providers that do business in the state to encrypt PHI....more

New Jersey Requires Encryption for Health Insurance Carriers; May Open Door to Class Action Suits over Violations Under State...

Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law S. 562, which, as its title states, “Requires health insurance carriers to encrypt certain information.” Violation of this new law constitutes a facial violation of the New...more

HIPAA: Deadlines Pass and Definitions Change

For all covered entities and business associates, September 22 was the last day for business associate agreements (BAAs) to comply with the Omnibus HIPAA Rule (the Rule) released in January 2013. Before the Rule’s release,...more

Protections Governing Theft and Publication of Medical Records

As instances of medical data breaches increase, U.S. courts are interpreting the scope of liability stemming from them. In California, the court in Sutter Health et al. v. The Superior Court of Sacramento County (Atkins) held...more

IT Maintenance Crucial for HIPAA Compliance

The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced an agreement with a medical center to settle charges stemming from the center’s failure to prevent malware from infecting its...more

A Quick Look at Healthcare Issues Expected to Make News in 2015

As we look into our crystal balls, we do not expect a lot of new issues in 2015. Rather, we believe that most of the significant issues will be a continuation of issues that arose in 2014 or earlier. ...more

Actual Compliance with HIPAA is a Must

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (HHS-OCR), has recently entered into another HIPAA settlement, emphasizing yet again the government’s focus on the HIPAA Security Rule. The settlement...more

Recent Changes to California Medical Information Privacy Laws Create More Flexibility and Give Rise to Increased Enforcement

Under California Health & Safety Code (HSC) sections 1280.15(a) and (b), California licensed clinics, hospitals, home health agencies and hospices are required to prevent “unlawful or unauthorized access to, and use or...more

Top Five Resolutions for Covered Entities and Business Associates in 2015

The New Year is here. It is time to make those 2015 resolutions, and not just those for getting fit and healthy. Resolve now to improve your organization’s compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability...more

Privacy Tuesday – January 6, 2015

Welcome to the first Privacy Tuesday of 2015! We hope that you enjoyed our 12 Days of Privacy series (and if you missed it, they are all linked in the right column of the blog…). Three things that you should...more

2014 – The Health Law Year in Review

Each year brings significant changes and challenges in the laws governing the health care industry, and 2014 proved to be no exception. What the year may have lacked in the high drama that accompanies comprehensive health...more

Happy New Year! 2015 Brings More Reasonable Breach Notification Reporting Periods for CA Health Care Providers

In 2008 California put into effect breach reporting laws applicable to certain licensed health care providers Healthcare Entities that are more stringent than HIPAA - so stringent that Healthcare Entities have been required...more

Department Of Health And Human Services Issues Proposed New Rules Implicating The Use Of Electronic Health Records And Patient...

On December 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued a proposed rule related to changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program. These revisions promote the use of electronic health records by...more

Data Breach Plaintiff Given Second Chance to Certify Class Action Suit

Recently, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in favor of data breach plaintiff Avrum Baum, giving him a second chance to certify a class action suit against Keystone Mercy Health Plan. Baum brought suit against the...more

What Preemption? Connecticut State Court Gives Life to Negligence Claims Based on HIPAA Privacy Standard of Care

Like many federal statutes, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) contains a provision governing how the statute is designed to interact with similar or otherwise related state laws. When...more

What Can You Expect in 2015 Regarding HIPAA Enforcement?

As of earlier this month, 1, 170 breaches involving 31 million records have been reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since mandated reporting of breaches began in September 2009.  An increase in the...more

Hospital Fires Back: Accuses Whistleblowers of Violating Patient Confidentiality

Hospitals have long seethed over employees who exploit their inside information to become whistleblowers. There’s generally not much they can do besides seethe unless the employee has some special duty of confidentiality...more

On the Tenth Day of Privacy, OCR Gave to Me…..

……………..a cumbersome C-A-P The U.S Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has received tremendous publicity in recent years for its upward-trendingfines and aggressive enforcement of HIPAA...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™

Patient Medical Records Stolen from New Jersey Storage Facility – Tribeca Medical Center is notifying patients that their protected health information may be compromised. According to a privacy notice posted on Tribeca...more

Employer Liability for Employees’ Privacy Violations: What your organization should learn from Walgreens’ expensive lesson (hint:...

You may already have read the scintillating facts surrounding a jury award of $1.44 million (recently challenged unsuccessfully on appeal) against Walgreen Co. (Walgreens) following its pharmacist’s alleged inappropriate...more

Advertising Law - December 2014 #3

FCC Proposes Online Disclosures for Broadcast Contests - The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a rule change that would allow broadcast stations to disclose on the Internet the material terms for contests...more

On The Eighth Day of Privacy, Health Care Systems (Over)Shared Data

When is “sharing” too much of a good thing? And will it get worse for health care systems in 2015? Data sharing has become a point of sharp focus in the efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of health...more

Blog: No More Paper PIs? FDA Issues Proposed Rule on Electronic Distribution of Prescribing Information

Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a proposed rule to require electronic distribution of the prescribing information intended for health care professionals (often called the “PI”) for human...more

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