Healthcare Information Security

HIPAA Privacy Rule

Considering HIPAA Privacy Rule with Mental Health Data

January 31, 2017 - 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 Crisis Act was signed into law as part of the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016. Congressman Tim Murphy backed the bill, saying that the “stigma...


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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...

How to Avoid Common Healthcare Data Security Challenges

by Tushar Kothari of Attivo Networks

PHI cyber theft is on the rise. Ponemon Institute Reports in its Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data, that nearly 90 percent of all healthcare organizations have suffered at least one data breach in...

HIPAA Privacy Rules Considered in Recent Mental Health Bill

by Elizabeth Snell

The House of Representatives passed the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646) last week, which has a provision stating that more clarity is needed around existing HIPAA privacy rules. It is important to reduce any confusion...

HIPAA Minimum Necessary Standard Discussed in Hearing

by Elizabeth Snell

The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics’ (NCVHS) subcommittee on privacy, confidentiality, and security held a hearing last week to help the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) develop better guidance on the HIPAA...

How Do HIPAA Rules, Patient Privacy Apply in Emergencies?

by Elizabeth Snell

No healthcare organization wants to compromise patient privacy, and HIPAA rules were designed to ensure that this does not occur.   Covered entities of all sizes should understand how the HIPAA Privacy Rule applies in various situations....

Health Data Privacy Concerns Discussed in FTC Settlement

by Elizabeth Snell

A cloud-based EHR company has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations that it misled consumers and created potential health data privacy issues. Practice Fusion reportedly did not properly disclose to consumers...

ONC Releases Educational Videos on HIPAA Rights for Patients

by Elizabeth Snell

In an effort to better educate individuals on HIPAA rights for patients, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) released a series of videos that explain the rights patients have to access their health information. Additionally, ONC revealed...

HHS Clarifies HIPAA Regulation Patient Right of Access Costs

by Jacqueline Belliveau

While HIPAA regulations state that patients have a right of access to their own health information, many individuals are left wondering just how much it will cost them to view their own PHI.  Fortunately, the Department of Health and Human...

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