News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OCR Clarifies confusion with the $6.50 flat fee charge for PHI

In response to several questions received after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) published a fact sheet in early 2016 on individuals’ rights to access protected health...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

Health Law Wire: Recent HIPAA Settlements Highlight the Importance of Business Associate Agreements (5/16)

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services that enforces the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, recently sent a clear message about the importance of business...more

Recent Settlements and Upcoming Audits Highlight the Continuing Need to Focus on Core HIPAA Compliance Measures

Recent settlements and initiatives conducted by the Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlight the continuing need for focus on compliance with the privacy and security...more

Intermedix data breach class action case dismissed

We previously reported that Intermedix was sued in a class action lawsuit regarding the data breach involving millions of patient records....more

What's New with HIPAA?

A number of new developments have taken place related to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security compliance, and enforcement is increasing. Healthcare providers, health plans and other...more

Settlements reached for PHI Disclosures

In the last two months, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced two settlement agreements involving the disclosure of protected health information ("PHI"). In both instances, the health care...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

Expansion of HIPAA audit program now underway

As detailed in our latest webinar, “Daunting but doable: Preparing for the next round of HIPAA audits,” the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has begun implementing the first full-phase HIPAA audit program. The 2009 HITECH Act,...more

Negotiating Software Agreements – Key Terms For Electronic Health Records

Healthcare providers (Providers) rely on third party vendors for providing Electronic Health Record (EHR) software services. Due to the amount of protected health information Providers store in these software services, and...more

Facebook, Healthcare Provider Websites and HIPAA

In a class action Complaint filed in the Northern District of California on March 15, 2016, Kiesel Law LLP, on behalf of primary plaintiff Winston Smith and a potential class of others, alleges that Facebook received...more

Phase 2 of the OCR HIPAA Audit Program Already Underway

On March 21, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the launch of the long-awaited Phase 2 HIPAA Audit Program (Phase 2), and OCR activities related to Phase 2 are already...more

Maintaining Patient Privacy In The Digital Age

Those in the heavily regulated healthcare industry know that patient information is sacrosanct. And for good reason; improper handling can result in hefty fines or criminal prosecution under the Health Insurance Portability...more

Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic settles with OCR for $750,000 for lack of business associate agreement

Consistent with the settlement the OCR agreed to with North Memorial Health Care of Minnesota, the Office for Civil Rights has settled its investigation of Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic, P.A. (Raleigh Orthopaedic) for $750,000....more

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