Protected Health Information Data Security

News & Analysis as of

Breach of ePHI Results in $2.7 Million Fine

Oregon Health & Science University (“OHSU”) has paid $2.7 million to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) to settle allegations that it violated the Health Insurance Portability...more

Business Associate Settles HIPAA Investigation for $650,000

The U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the agency responsible for enforcing the HIPAA Privacy and Security rules, has just sent a strong message that business associates are not immune from scrutiny. On June 24, 2016, in a...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

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

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

Newest Ponemon study released on health care data breaches

The Ponemon Institute has recently released its Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data. The study has included business associates for the past two years. The study included information received...more

Joint Commission lifts ban on physicians texting patient orders

The Joint Commission, which is the national accrediting organization for health care organizations, has long banned physicians using text messages to place orders for patient care due to data security concerns. In 2011, the...more

Class Certification Improper in Data Breach Case, PA Appellate Court Finds

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a trial court's decision denying class certification in a data breach case against two health plans, reversing its own earlier ruling in the same case that the plaintiff did not...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds Coverage Under CGL Policy for Data Breach Claims

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (“Fourth Circuit”) recently concluded that an insurer had a duty to defend a health care company that was sued by individuals whose personal health information was...more

Department of Health and Human Services Cracks Down on Vendor Oversight in Recent Hospital Settlements

From the rise in ransomware attacks to inadvertent disclosure of information by subcontractors, the health services industry is reminded that a potential consequence of a data breach is the threat of a regulatory enforcement...more

Health Law Insights Newsletter - Issue 8 - April 2016

McCarter & English, LLP’s Health Care Group presents Issue 8 of the Health Law Insights, which discusses the latest legal issues in the health care industry. NATIONAL - New Payment Model for Part B Drugs Proposed -...more

State AGs Upping the Ante on Health (and Other) Information Data Incidents – Expect Increased Enforcement Actions

State attorneys general (AGs) continue to emerge as major regulators of privacy, and increasingly, with respect to compromises of health-related data. Businesses concerned with U.S. customer or employee data have long...more

OCR Kicks Off HIPAA Audits After Issuing Two Major Settlements

On March 21, 2016, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launched phase two of its much-anticipated audit program for covered entities and business associates. The announcement comes in the wake of OCR's issuance of two major...more

New Ponemon report says healthcare organizations getting hit by cyber-attacks monthly

Confirming what we are seeing in the field, the Ponemon Institute recently released a new report of a poll of 535 healthcare IT and IT security professionals that sets forth a dismal state of affairs around data security and...more

California Data Breach Report Defines “Reasonableness” Standard for Data Protection

Nearly three in five Californians were victims of a data breach in 2015, according to a report released by state Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. The report adopts minimum standards of ''reasonable security'' for personal...more

Centene announces search for missing hard drives containing PHI of 950,000 individuals

Centene Corporation, a health insurer headquartered in St. Louis, announced on January 25, in a press release that it is undertaking an, “ongoing comprehensive internal search for six hard drives that are unaccounted for in...more

Protect Your Wine Business Against Data Security Breaches and Other Cyber Risks

When asked who should buy cyber insurance, one expert responded, “more companies than realize it.” The truth is, almost every company in the country collects its customers’ or its employees’ Personally Identifiable...more

WEBINAR: Cloud Computing & Health Care Organizations - Critical Privacy & Security Issues

More and more organizations are turning to the cloud because of how flexible and low-cost it is. As a result, many health care organizations are now using cloud-based servers to store patient information and are discovering...more

HIPAA and Text Messaging

Text messaging is pervasive. Doctors and other health care providers, covered entities, and business associates currently use (and embrace) the technology. Texting is easy, fast and efficient. It doesn’t require a laptop...more

Data-Harvesting Zombie Hackers, Blood-Thirsty Auditors, and Other Reasons to be Scared on Halloween

This Halloween, the scariest monsters might not be in your closet or under your bed. They may be overseas, orchestrating intrusions into your electronic medical record. Or they may be lurking in your own workforce, carrying...more

HHS’ Selection of Contractor Provides Latest Update on Impending Second Round of HIPAA Audits

On October 27, 2015, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) official stated that the agency has hired FCi Federal, a provider of management and professional services to government agencies in Ashburn, VA, to...more

HIPAA Double Take: What Health Plan Sponsors Need to Know Now

With the onslaught of Affordable Care Act changes, health plan sponsors have much to think about lately. Given the number of other issues affecting them, plan sponsors may feel that HIPAA privacy and security is an issue they...more

Employee Health Information: Separate and Secure

There are several reasons an employer might have employee health information, ranging from the results of a pre-employment physical to the contents of a request for FMLA leave to what’s written in a health provider’s note...more

International Life Sciences Data Transfers After Schrems

With the recent ruling that the Safe Harbor programme is invalid under European law, life sciences companies will need to review their strategies when exporting patient data to the United States....more

OIG Reports Insufficient Oversight Of HIPAA Compliance

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) must improve its oversight and enforcement of patient information privacy and security rules by “covered entities” and their business associates under the Health Information Portability...more

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