Protected Health Information

News & Analysis as of

Exploring the Causes of Healthcare Data Breaches

Pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), covered entities (e.g. healthcare providers and health plans) must notify the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) of breaches...more

HIPAA Compliance: Navigating a Health Care Minefield

In the two decades since its original passage, complying with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) hasn’t gotten any easier. Enacted with the primary goal of protecting the confidentiality,...more

HIPAA Enforcement Actions by the Numbers

Protecting patient information is a central duty for both covered entities and business associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Should a HIPAA-subject entity ever fail to protect...more

Charges for Medical Records: Are You Compliant with HIPAA?

Through a series of releases in the first half of 2016, HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued guidance on the individual right of access to protected health information (“PHI”) provided under HIPAA. One topic with...more

Illinois data breach law amended and includes new twists

Governor Bruce Rauner signed several new provisions into law amending Illinois’ Personal Information Privacy Act, including health insurance and medical information into the definition of personal information that triggers...more

HIPAA Does Not Preempt Statutory Right to Ex Parte Interviews of Treating Physicians in Tennessee Health Care Liability Actions

A key tool for the defense of medical providers in Tennessee facing malpractice liability has been held to be not preempted by federal law. On June 3, 2016, the Tennessee Court of Appeals, in Caldwell v. Baptist Memorial...more

Energy & Commerce Committee Approves Mental Health System Reform Bill

The House Energy & Commerce Committee has unanimously approved an amended version of H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which is intended to reform the nation’s mental health care system. Among other...more

OCR Releases Video Guidance on Provision of Medical Records

The summer movie season is now officially in full swing, with the release of three informational videos regarding HIPAA and the right of individuals to access their medical records, published by the Office of Civil Rights of...more

Data Security Safeguards Can Help Healthcare Employers Withstand Cyberattacks—and Government Audits

The last couple of years have brought a steady rain of bad news for the healthcare industry when it comes to data security: Insurers faced with massive data breaches affecting thousands of health plans and millions of...more

Health Care E-Note - June 2016

In an effort to review and examine compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its implementing regulations ("HIPAA"), the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil...more

FTC Delays Ruling in LabMD Appeal

The Federal Trade Commission has decided to put off until late July a decision about whether to overturn a ruling by the agency’s chief administrative law judge in the closely watched data security action against LabMD, the...more

HHS Issues HIPAA Guidance for Mobile Health Apps

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued guidance to help mobile application developers analyze whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) may apply to them....more

HHS guidance seeks to clarify scope of PSQIA

On May 24, 2016, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued guidance (Guidance) to health care providers and patient safety organizations (PSOs) in an attempt to clarify the definition of patient safety work...more

Courts Continue to Grapple with Data Breach Claims

Our last few blogs have focused on litigation under the Video Privacy Protection Act, including the recent ruling from the 10th Circuit in Yershov v. Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7791 (1st...more

HRTO sets protocol for employers to use their own occupational health and claims management file to defend human rights complaint

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has set out criteria that an employer must satisfy in order to use its own Occupational Health and Claims Management file to defend itself in a human rights complaint....more

OCR Clarifies “Reasonable, Cost-Based” Fee Calculations for Access to Medical Records

By couching its position in an individual’s right to access protected health information (PHI), beginning on January 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance to...more

Responding to ransomware attacks: A guide for health care providers

As if data privacy and HIPAA concerns were not enough for health care entities to fret over, enter another data threat that has already caught many health care systems off guard – ransomware attacks....more

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy: Proposed Legislation Would Substantially Expand and Strengthen New York’s Data Breach Notification...

A bill currently pending before the New York State Assembly (A10475) would make a number of significant changes to New York’s data breach notification statute (General Business Law Section 899-aa) in the event that it is...more

EMR company settles with FTC for posting physician surveys that contained health information on its website

Cloud-based electronic medical record (EMR) company Practice Fusion has agreed to settle an enforcement action with the FTC that alleges that it misled consumers when it solicited reviews of their doctors. The FTC alleges...more

Protecting Health Plan Information Is More Important Than Ever

It’s common for employers outside the healthcare industry to believe they can avoid issues brought about by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other health plan data laws. After all, most...more

Medical Records of NFL Players Taken in Theft of Unencrypted Laptop

A Washington Redskins trainers’ unencrypted laptop was located in a backpack that was stolen on April 15th. Unfortunately, the laptop contained medical exam results for NFL Combine attendees since 2004, which is estimated to...more

Burr Alert: Phase 2 HIPAA Audits

In an effort to review and examine compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its implementing regulations ("HIPAA"), the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil...more

OCR Clarifies Parameters of Covered Entities' Fees for PHI Copies

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released new guidance and FAQs (OCR Guidance) addressing individuals’ rights to access their protected health information (PHI) under the Health Insurance Portability and...more

ERISA and Cybersecurity

Employee benefit plan data stored online may include participants’ names and Social Security numbers, account information and protected health information (PHI), all of which are inviting targets for hackers....more

HHS Releases HIPAA Privacy and Security Audit Guidelines as it Starts its Second Round of Audits and Continues Enforcement Efforts

During April 2016 the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) posted lengthy audit guidelines for HIPAA Privacy and Security on its website (over 400 pages). As HHS starts its audits of health care providers, health...more

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