News & Analysis as of

California Prosecutors Settle PHI Breach with Retailer

Beginning in 2012, California environmental regulators and others began investigating the grocery store chain Safeway relating to the company’s waste disposal practices. During the investigation, certain documents listing...more

OCR Updates Breach Report Web Portal — Changes Could Impact Annual Breach Reports

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently launched an updated version of the portal covered entities must use to notify OCR regarding a breach of unsecured protected health...more

8 Things Healthcare Providers Should Know About E-Signatures

Electronic signatures can be legally valid to execute documents that require written signatures, and electronic documents can be legally valid when applicable laws require documents to be in writing....more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - January 2015 #3

ALSO IN THE NEWS - HHS Publishes Goals on Alternative Payment Models with Continued Focus on Quality – In its continued efforts to base Medicare payments on quality over quantity, this morning HHS made public its goal...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grand Theft PHI – Are Vendors Putting You at Risk for a HIPAA Breach?

Your vendor’s employee goes home after a long day of collecting wellness questionnaires and biometric screening results only to wake up the next day to discover that her car has been stolen from her driveway. As you can...more

FDA Regulatory and Compliance Monthly Recap – November 2014

In an unusual move, the FDA takes issue with the accuracy of Sciecure’s studies in a warning letter over sales promotion material for the company’s sleeping pill - In addition to criticizing the pharmaceutical company...more

OIG’s New Work Plan Focuses on the Security of Health Information

On October 31, 2014, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its Work Plan for fiscal year (FY) 2015. The Work Plan summarizes “new and ongoing reviews of activities...more

HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations

In light of the Ebola outbreak and other events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, released a bulletin to ensure HIPAA covered entities are aware of the ways in which patient...more

Health Update - November 2014

“Healthcare-Related” Calls: Ambiguity at the Intersection of HIPAA and TCPA - Editor’s Note: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established exemptions from certain requirements of the Telephone Consumer...more

HHS Issues Special HIPAA Guidance for Ebola Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"), released a bulletin last week addressing how covered entities (including certain health care providers and employer group health...more

Health Care Providers Responding to Ebola: HHS Issues Guidance Reminding Covered Entities that HIPAA Allows the Sharing of PHI in...

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) has issued guidance to remind HIPAA-covered entities of the ways in which they are permitted under HIPAA to share protected health information...more

HHS Explains Privacy Rule in Emergency Situations

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin reminding covered entities and business associates of how they may disclose patient information for public health activities or in...more

HHS: No Sensational News Exception to HIPAA. Health Care Providers Should Plan Now for Dealing with Ebola Publicity

Many people in the general public – and most in the health care industry – would recognize the names Eric Duncan (who died of Ebola in a U.S. hospital), Nina Pham (who contracted Ebola through exposure in a U.S. hospital) and...more

HIPAA in the Time of Ebola

Ebola has recently been the source of much concern, and health care providers and hospitals are taking steps to prepare themselves for the possibility of treating patients with Ebola. In addition to all of the medical...more

Ebola or Not, Patient Privacy Must Be Protected: Office for Civil Rights Issues Bulletin on HIPAA Requirements in Emergency...

In the wake of the recent Ebola cases, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new bulletin reminding HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates that the...more

Blog: FDA Cybersecurity Workshop for Healthcare

On October 21-22 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, conducted a public workshop entitled “Collaborative Approaches for...more

Blog: Federal Advisory Group Considers Patient Data Standards

This week, the Privacy and Security Workgroup within the Health IT Policy Committee was tasked by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to discuss certain patient data protections. Specifically, they were...more

Government Conference Highlights Need for Protecting Health Information

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently highlighted the importance of protecting health information at the...more

Company Claims “HIPAA Has No Teeth”, Will Start Notifying Affected Individuals of Security Breaches and Vulnerabilities that Have...

A company named SLC Security, LLC (“SLC”), recently announced that it will begin notifying individuals if it believes it has identified a security breach or vulnerability of a company and it has not received a satisfactory...more

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