Healthcare Information Security

HIPAA Privacy Rule

Maintaining HIPAA Privacy through Increased Patient Access

May 15, 2017 - The HIPAA Privacy Rule is not something that covered entities or business associates can afford to ignore, even as technology continues to evolve and patients have increased access to their own records. AHIMA raised a key issue though in a recent blog post: does HIPAA need to be improved to reflect the reality of the current healthcare environment? AHIMA IG Advisors Senior Director Kathy Downing,...


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Maintaining HIPAA Privacy through Increased Patient Access

by Elizabeth Snell

The HIPAA Privacy Rule is not something that covered entities or business associates can afford to ignore, even as technology continues to evolve and patients have increased access to their own records. AHIMA raised a key issue though in a recent...

NM Supreme Court to Review Alleged HIPAA Violation Case

by Elizabeth Snell

A New Mexico district court mostly denied a motion to dismiss a case alleging HIPAA violations last Friday, and the state Supreme Court will now consider HIPAA’s scope in relation to the case. District Judge Judith C. Herrera denied...

Mobile Security at Center of $2.5M OCR HIPAA Settlement

by Elizabeth Snell

The latest OCR HIPAA settlement was the first of its kind for a wireless health services provider, following allegations of ePHI disclosure due to a stolen laptop. Pennsylvania-based CardioNet provides remote mobile monitoring of and rapid response...

Judge Says HIPAA Regulations Do Not Apply in Organ Donor Case

by Elizabeth Snell

Patient records from the New York Organ Donor Network are not liable to HIPAA regulations, according to a recent New York Supreme Court ruling. A former network official claimed that four patients had not yet been declared legally dead before...

AMIA Calls for HIPAA Clarification in mHealth Patient Data

by Elizabeth Snell

While mHealth applications can help bridge the health IT gap between providers and patients, greater HIPAA clarification and even an expansion of the rules may be necessary, according to the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). AMIA...

How Do HIPAA Regulations Apply to Wearable Devices?

by Elizabeth Snell

Both covered entities and business associates should be well-aware of the OCR HIPAA audit program, especially as Phase 2 has been underway for several months now. However, as technology continues to evolve, there are also several areas that could...

How HIPAA Regulations Allow for Patient Data Access

by Elizabeth Snell

Patients being able to access their own information is an essential right under HIPAA regulations, according to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). However, patient data access is often misunderstood, and individuals...

Considering HIPAA Privacy Rule with Mental Health Data

by Elizabeth Snell

The permitted uses and disclosures of PHI in the HIPAA Privacy Rule were key considerations in a recently passed bill package, which included reforms for patients being treated for mental health conditions. The Helping Families in Mental Health...

Focusing on Patient Data Privacy in Health Data Exchange

by Elizabeth Snell

There are an increasing amount of potential patient data privacy risks as technology continues to evolve, meaning policymakers need to strengthen privacy rules, according to a recent contribution on The Century Foundation. Patient health information...

Research Data Privacy Regulations Updated in Final Federal Rule

by Elizabeth Snell

A final rule strengthening protections for research participants, including areas of data privacy was recently issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal agencies. Current regulations, referred to as the “Common...

Patient Privacy Addressed in Recent HHS Confidentiality Rule

by Elizabeth Snell

The Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations were recently updated and modernized, specifically addressing patient privacy concerns for individuals seeking treatment for a substance abuse disorder. The changes were...

ONC, OCR Fact Sheet Discusses HIPAA Health Data Exchange

by Elizabeth Snell

In an effort to answer questions over how oversight agencies can receive information in health data exchange, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a fact sheet discussing how HIPAA allows such...

OCR Clarifies PHI Disclosure Guidance in HIPAA Privacy Rule

by Elizabeth Snell

Partially due to legal confusion following the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released an FAQ clarifying certain aspects of PHI disclosure policies with patients’ loved ones under the HIPAA Privacy...

HIPAA Privacy Changes Not in Recent 21st Century Cures Act

by Elizabeth Snell

The House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act yesterday with a vote of 392 to 26. This latest version of the legislation did not include wording that could have made it possible to change the HIPAA Privacy Rule and potentially...

Why Businesses Must Adhere to FTC Act and HIPAA Privacy Rule

by Elizabeth Snell

Businesses that collect and share consumer health information need to not only be mindful of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, but must also adhere to the FTC Act. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released new guidance on key privacy and security considerations...

Provider PHI Access Key Aspect to HIPAA Privacy Rule

by Elizabeth Snell

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently clarified that business associates cannot block provider PHI access or terminate that access under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. In a Frequently Asked Questions...

The Role of HIM Professionals in HIPAA Compliance

by Elizabeth Snell

Individuals in the health information management (HIM) field play a critical role in covered entities’ approaches to data security, especially HIPAA compliance. HIM professionals are often “acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital...

Maintaining HIPAA Compliance across Digital, Paper Records

by David Harlow

Maintaining HIPAA compliance and numerous data privacy and security mandates is of paramount importance for healthcare organizations. Since HIPAA is not a one-size-fits-all regulatory regime, best practices for data privacy and security programs...

OCR Aims to Improve Smaller Data Breach Investigation Process

by Elizabeth Snell

Starting in August 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will start an initiative to better investigate smaller data breaches. The data breach investigation process will look further into the root causes of incidents affecting fewer than 500...

Practice Fusion Health Data Privacy Case Gets FTC Final Order

by Elizabeth Snell

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) final order was recently approved, finalizing the FTC complaint against health data privacy concerns with Practice Fusion. The cloud-based EHR company had agreed to a settlement with the FTC in June 2016, over...

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