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Patient Privacy News

CMS Health Data Privacy Not Compromised in Increased Access

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced earlier this week that it will now allow innovators and entrepreneurs to access its data, including information like Medicare claims. The policy change is part of CMS’ commitment...

VA PHI Incidents Increase 178% in April

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After a positive few months that showed a decrease in PHI incidents, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) saw a drastic uptick in reported data security events, according to its latest report to Congress. In March, the VA stated that 383 veterans...

Coast Guard Needs Better PHI Security, Says OIG Report

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The US Coast Guard (USCG) must do a better job in its PHI security measures, according to a recent report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Specifically, USCG lacks a strong organizational approach to resolving privacy issues, the...

Why PHI Security Cannot be Forgotten When Entities Move

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PHI security is an essential aspect of healthcare data privacy for covered entities of all sizes. Each facility is different and will therefore benefit from different security measures. However, ensuring that PHI does not fall into the wrong...

ONC Privacy, Security Workgroup Expresses Stage 3 MU Concerns

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There are several patient privacy and security concerns related to the proposed Meaningful Use Stage 3 rule, according to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Health Information Technology (HIT) Privacy & Security Workgroup. Earlier...

Why Information Blocking Could Hinder PHI Security

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PHI security is an increasingly important issue, especially as more providers implement electronic medical records and the push for nationwide interoperability continues. However, health information blocking and healthcare privacy rules could...

New Data Breach Notification Bill Lets States Keep Own Laws

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Several Democratic senators have introduced a national data breach notification bill that will allow states to keep their own notification laws if they have more strict policies already in place. The Consumer Privacy Protection Act was introduced...

Phishing Attack Affects 3,300 Partners HealthCare Patients

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Yet another phishing attack was announced this week, potentially affecting 3,300 patients at Partners HealthCare System, Inc. According to a company statement, the Massachusetts-based facility learned on November 25, 2014 that employees had fallen...

Exposed Medical Records Potentially Puts Patients At Risk

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Healthcare facilities must ensure they have the latest privacy and security measures in place to prevent exposed medical records and work toward keeping data breach risks to a minimum. Along with the latest technological safeguards, covered entities...

Phishing Scam, Stolen Laptop Lead to Potential Data Breaches

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Healthcare data breaches can be caused from a variety of incidents, such as an email phishing scam, misplaced medical records, and lost or stolen mobile devices. Without a comprehensive security plan and extensive understanding of HIPAA regulations,...

Ill. Data Breach Law Passes Senate, Includes Medical Data

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The Illinois Senate passed a data breach law that now includes medical and health insurance data in its definition of “personal information.” The Personal Information Act, or SB 1833, was previously in place, but the new version amends certain...

Will NAIC Cybersecurity Regulations Affect Healthcare Industry?

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The Cybersecurity (EX) Task Force of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) announced that it adopted new cybersecurity regulations, designed to help protect sensitive consumer information. The cybersecurity regulations highlight...

Second Email Phishing Scam Hits Ascension Health Facility

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Another email phishing scam was reported at an Ascension Health facility, but it has not yet been said whether the two incidents are related. Seton Family of Hospitals, a division of Seton Healthcare Family (“Seton”), announced on...

How Rush Medical Stays HIPAA Compliant, Uses Cybersecurity

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Staying HIPAA compliant is not always an easy task, especially as new technological options develop, such as cloud computing, mobile devices, and EMRs. Rush University Medical Center has altered its cybersecurity measures over the last few years...

PHI Compromised in Email Phishing Scam

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No healthcare organization, whether a provider or insurer, wants to have PHI compromised. However, even with the necessary security measures in place and thorough employee training programs, incidents can still occur. That is the case at an Indiana...

PHI Incidents Decrease 65% in March for VA

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The number of PHI incidents affecting veterans decreased by approximately 65 percent in March, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) latest report to Congress. In February, the VA reported that of the 891 veterans affected by a...

Data Breach Notification Law Passes Unanimously in Wash.

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The Washington state Senate unanimously passed the proposed data breach notification law last week by a 47-0 vote. HB 1078 is designed to “strengthen the data breach notification requirements to better safeguard personal information, prevent...

Breaches Shift from Device Theft to Cybersecurity Threats

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Healthcare cybersecurity threats are an increasing issue for the industry, but healthcare data breaches can occur in numerous ways. An apparent shift is underway though, as the major cause of health data breaches is not necessarily due to device...

ONC Releases Electronic Health IT Privacy, Security Guide

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released an updated version of its guide on electronic health IT privacy and security earlier this week. The guide outlines ways for covered entities to properly integrate...

Stronger Data Breach Laws Needed, Say Wash. Leaders

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In the wake of the Premera Blue Cross and Anthem, Inc. data breaches, Washington’s attorney general and two lawmakers are calling for stronger data breach laws. Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Sen. John Braun, and  Rep. Zack Hudgins...

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