Healthcare Information Security

HIPAA Compliance

Determining Whether a HIPAA Data Breach Occurred

by Elizabeth Snell

Covered entities need to be able to determine if a HIPAA data breach has taken place following the potential exposure of sensitive data. The implementation of the HIPAA Omnibus Rule slightly changed this process, in that there were new determining...

HIPAA Regulations v. FERPA Rules In Privacy Rights

by Elizabeth Snell

HIPAA regulations were created to ensure that patients’ PHI remained secure, and that individuals would not have to worry about their personal information falling into the wrong hands. Similarly, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act...

Should HIPAA Regulations Require Data Encryption?

by Elizabeth Snell

Following the Anthem data breach where nearly 80 million individuals’ personally identifiable information was potentially exposed, certain HIPAA regulations are coming under scrutiny. In particular, organizations and legislators are beginning...

Key Reminders For Your HIPAA Security Risk Assessment

by Elizabeth Snell

The HIPAA security risk assessment is an important way for healthcare organizations to evaluate the potential risks and vulnerabilities within their facility and how they are adhering to HIPAA. All covered entities and their business associates...

Potential HIPAA Violation From Minn. BCBS Nurse

by Elizabeth Snell

A Minnesota Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) nurse possibly committed a HIPAA violation after he inappropriately accessed a state database containing prescription information for 1 million Minnesotans, according to a WCCO-TV report. The BCBS nurse,...

Minn. Organization Testifies on Patient Privacy Law

by Elizabeth Snell

Minnesota’s current patient privacy law should not be repealed in favor of HIPAA, according to the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF). The organization’s president and co-founder, Twila Brase, testified in front of the Minnesota...

Breaking Down HIPAA Rules and Regulations: The Omnibus Rule

by Elizabeth Snell

As healthcare organizations continuously update their systems and implement the latest tools to improve patient care, it is important for providers to remain mindful of all HIPAA rules and regulations. Starting this week, HealthITSecurity.com...

Are Healthcare Regulatory Mandates Harming the Industry?

by Elizabeth Snell

Healthcare regulatory mandates are designed to help covered entities keep sensitive data, such as patients’ protected health information (PHI), secure. As technology continues to evolve, it is especially critical for healthcare organizations...

HIPAA Compliance Discussed in ACOG Social Media Guidelines

by Elizabeth Snell

With technology continuously evolving, healthcare organizations need to ensure that they are still following HIPAA compliance measures. As social media becomes more popular, one medical group decided to publish guidelines on how physicians can...

HIPAA Rules to be Clearer for mHealth, Says HHS Leader

by Elizabeth Snell

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has pledged to work more closely with mobile health (mHealth) companies to ensure that HIPAA rules are being properly adhered to. HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell wrote...

Understanding HIPAA Compliance in Emergencies

by Elizabeth Snell

Every year there are numerous reports of flu-related deaths, as well as other illnesses. Most recently, Ebola was a hot topic, especially in terms of HIPAA compliance. Patients deserve privacy, but doesn’t the public have a right to know...

St. Louis Reports HIPAA Violation by County Employee

by Elizabeth Snell

The Saint Louis County Department of Health is investigating a potential HIPAA violation where the personal information of inmates at a county jail was sent to a personal email address. A health department employee emailed a document that had...

HIPAA Violation, Records Dump Expose Patient Data

by Elizabeth Snell

A HIPAA violation can occur when a healthcare organization does not adhere to administrative, technical or even physical safeguards that have been put in place. Firewalls, data encryption measures, and employee training on proper disposal of...

Timeline for OCR HIPAA Audits Still Unknown

by Elizabeth Snell

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has still not set a deadline for the next round of HIPAA audits, and OCR Director Jocelyn Samuels did not release a timeline in a meeting this week. Samuels reportedly...

What Constitutes a HIPAA Violation?

by Elizabeth Snell

Covered entities must remain current on privacy regulations to ensure they do not commit a HIPAA violation. No individual wants his or her protected health information (PHI) to be unnecessarily made public. Not only is the information personal,...

AMIA’s Recent HIPAA Compliance Question: A Legal Perspective

by Elizabeth Snell

Last week an American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) letter to state Representative Fred Upton was released. AMIA called for HIPAA compliance to be updated to allow for exemptions in terms of access to patient’s PHI, specifically for...

HIPAA Mandates Discussed, Comments Sought in EHNAC Program

by Elizabeth Snell

EHNAC released a draft of its accreditation program, including discussions on HIPAA mandates. The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) released the first draft of its latest accreditation program this week. The organization...

Should HIPAA Compliance Let Researchers Access Patients’ PHI?

by Elizabeth Snell

AMIA recommended that HIPAA compliance should allow researchers to gain access to patients’ PHI without their permission. Allowing health researchers to access patients’ PHI without their permission could be beneficial, according to the...

Top Tips for Keeping Patients’ Healthcare Data Protected

by Stephen Treglia

Instinctively, we think of our financial data as the most likely target of a cyber attack, while healthcare data is increasingly becoming more valuable. Healthcare data breaches have demonstrated a real appetite among cybercriminals for protected...

PHI Exposure Case of 1,500 Patients Settled

by Elizabeth Snell

Approximately 1,500 patients were notified of PHI exposure last May at a Missouri facility. Last May, more than 1,500 women in Missouri had their protected health information (PHI) compromised after their personal records blew out of a dumpster...

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