Healthcare Information Security

HIPAA Compliance

MA Reaches Settlement Following Medicaid Data Breach

by Elizabeth Snell

New Hampshire-based Multi-State Billing Services (MSB) must pay $100,000 and improve its security practices per a consent judgment from the Massachusetts attorney general’s office. The settlement stems from a Medicaid data breach...

$2.3M OCR Settlement Reached for 21st Century Oncology Data Breach

by Elizabeth Snell

Cancer care services provider 21st Century Oncology (21CO) recently agreed to a $2.3 million OCR settlement, following a 2015 data breach. OCR found in its investigation that 21CO impermissibly disclosed the PHI of 2,213,597 of its...

Healthcare Phishing, Computer Viruses Top Cyber Attack Methods

by Elizabeth Snell

Healthcare organizations should consider increasing their cybersecurity measures as 83 percent of physicians report they have experienced a cybersecurity attack, according to research from Accenture and the American Medical Association...

Understanding HIPAA Data Sharing Policies for Better Patient Care

by Elizabeth Snell

Access to electronic health data can help public health agencies work toward improving patient care and addressing community health challenges, according to recent research. However, confusion over HIPAA data sharing policies and how...

AHIMA Notes Cybersecurity Prep, HIPAA Compliance as Focus Areas

by Elizabeth Snell

All healthcare organizations can work on improving their privacy and security by focusing on their cybersecurity preparation, HIPAA compliance, and staying people-oriented, according to a recent blog post on the Journal of...

CareFirst Data Breach Case Moves to US Supreme Court

by Elizabeth Snell

A petition for writ of certiorari was recently filed with the US Supreme Court, pushing the CareFirst data breach case forward. CareFirst wants its case reviewed, which could potentially reignite the debate over how plaintiffs need to...

What Should Entities Expect with OCR HIPAA Enforcement?

by Elizabeth Snell

There have been nine OCR HIPAA enforcement settlements so far in 2017, highlighting the need for covered entities and business associates to focus on audit controls, risk management, and business associate agreements. While there has been...

How HIPAA Information Sharing Regulations Impact the Opioid Crisis

by Elizabeth Snell

With the opioid crisis recently declared a nationwide public health emergency, OCR issued guidance on how HIPAA regulations allow providers to participate in information sharing in an effort to improve patient care. There are often...

Kromtech Security Discovers Health Data Breach of 150K Patients

by Elizabeth Snell

Kromtech Security researchers found a potential publicly accessible Amazon S3 repository that may have led to a health data breach impacting over 150,000 individuals, according to a company report. “Patient Home...

AHIMA: Patient Data Access Through Patient Portals Increases

by Elizabeth Snell

Eighty-two percent of consumers took advantage of patient data access through a patient portal in 2016, an increase from less than 5 percent who did so in 2013, according to a study from the American Health Information Management...

How Health Data Security Relates to Healthcare Biometrics

by Elizabeth Snell

Increasing government initiatives for improved health data security and privacy have helped aid to the growth of the healthcare biometrics market, according to a recent MarketsandMarkets report. More healthcare facilities are looking to...

Reviewing OCR HIPAA Guidance to Maintain Compliance

by Elizabeth Snell

Covered entities should not be afraid to regularly review OCR HIPAA guidance and ensure that they remain compliant, even as they add new technologies into the daily workflow, according to OCR Senior Advisor for HIPAA Compliance and...

EHRA: Health Data Sharing Not Aided with Regulatory Penalties

by Elizabeth Snell

Advocating for penalizations for providers and EHR developers is the wrong approach for encouraging health data sharing, according to a recent EHR Association (EHRA) blog post. Written in response to a Health Affairs post by former ONC...

How HIPAA Rules Apply with Law Enforcement Investigations

by Elizabeth Snell

HIPAA rules are meant to protect patient information, but what happens when there is a law enforcement investigation? Are police officers allowed to demand PHI without a warrant? That issue was brought forth in August 2017 when video was...

Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Sued Following HIPAA Violation

by Elizabeth Snell

New York-based Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital is being sued for faxing patient PHI to the patient’s employer, a reported HIPAA violation that has already resulted in an OCR HIPAA settlement. The Law Offices of Jeffrey...

Kentucky HIPAA Violation Case Ruling Held by Appeals Court

by Elizabeth Snell

A Kentucky hospital was found to have acted lawfully when it fired a nurse for committing a HIPAA violation, according to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The Appeals Court held a lower court’s dismissal of the nurse’s claim...

OCR: Staff Training Key for Data Security, Avoiding Scams

by Elizabeth Snell

Healthcare organizations should ensure they are implementing strong staff training measures to maintain data security in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, according to the August OCR Cybersecurity Newsletter. Potential scammers may try and...

HHS Reviews HIPAA Rules Following Hurricane Harvey

by Elizabeth Snell

Healthcare providers can face numerous challenges during natural disasters, including adhering to HIPAA rules while working to provide proper patient care through an emergency. HHS recently released a bulletin to help guide covered...

Recent Aetna Data Breach Leads to Class Action Lawsuit

by Elizabeth Snell

A federal class action lawsuit was recently filed against Aetna after it reportedly experienced a data breach that may have affected thousands of individuals. The Legal Action Center, AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, and Berger...

AHA Urges Reduced Data Sharing Barriers in HIPAA Regulations

by Elizabeth Snell

Having reduced data sharing barriers in current HIPAA regulations is just one way Congress can help reduce the regulatory burden on hospitals, health systems and patients, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA). AHA...

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