Protected Health Information

News & Analysis as of

A New Era of HIPAA Enforcement

Traditionally, HIPAA enforcement is assigned to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR). In November 2013, Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General sharply criticized OCR’s...more

Health care worker sent to jail for HIPAA violations

When we train employees on HIPAA, we always remind them that HIPAA violations carry significant penalties-both civil and criminal. Our favorite line is “Keep your day job.” Stealing patient information is never worth the...more

Medical Informatics Engineering discloses data breach

Electronic health record (EHR) vendor Medical Informatics Engineering and its subsidiary, NoMoreClipBoard, which is a personal health record (PHR) product, notified its EHR clients and PHR individuals that it has been the...more

Blog: HIPAA FAQ Series: Does HIPAA Protect the PHI of Deceased Individuals?

In order to protect the privacy and security of patients’ information, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) imposes substantial obligations on covered entities (certain providers, plans, and health...more

Deeper Dive: Healthcare Incidents Involving More Than 500 Individuals Are Investigated 100 Percent of the Time

We have released the inaugural BakerHostetler Data Security Incident Response Report, which provides insights generated from the review of more than 200 incidents that our attorneys advised on in 2014. The report confirms the...more

The Devil in the “Cyber” Insurance Details

There’s a tempest amidst the recent spring shower of “cyber” insurance cases. It isn’t the Recall Total case reported the week before last, or the Travelers v. Federal Recovery Services case reported the week before. While...more

Technology in Healthcare [Video]

From the 2015 PLUS Medical PL Symposium session “Technology in Healthcare: EHRs & PHI,” moderator Patricia Marzella-Graubert (Swiss Re American Holdings Corporation) and panelist Alexander Grijalva (New York Presbyterian...more

Lack of Typicality and Adequacy of Representation Prevents Class Certification in Health Care Data Breach

The opinion from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas reinforces lack of standing as a defense for companies facing data breach–related class actions. On March 25, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas provided...more

Insurer Seeks Declaratory Judgment Against Policyholder for Data Breach

Late last month, Columbia Casualty Company instituted a declaratory judgment lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against its insured, Cottage Health System. Columbia Casualty...more

Blog: HIPAA FAQ Series: Are Covered Entities and Business Associates Required to Encrypt PHI?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates that both Covered Entities and Business Associates protect the security of Protected Health Information (PHI) in a variety of ways. Specifically,...more

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

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