Healthcare Information Security

HIPAA Violations

OCR Fines Florida Physicians Group $500,000 for HIPAA Failures

December 4, 2018 - Florida-based Advanced Care Hospitalists was fined $500,000 by the Office for Civil Rights for multiple HIPAA compliance failures, including sharing protected health information with an unknown vendor. According to officials, ACH contracted with an individual that claimed to be part of a company called Doctor’s First Choice Billings from November 2011 and June 2012. They provided...


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Dental Breach Notification Sparked by EMR Vendor Refusal

by Jessica Davis

Florida-based Key Dental Group is notifying some of its patients of a breach, after its electronic medical record vendor refused to return a patient database at the end of its contract. According to officials, Key Dental received a...

Allergy Associates Settles with OCR for $125K over HIPAA Violation

by Jessica Davis

Connecticut-based Allergy Associates of Hartford settled with the Office for Civil Rights for $125,000, for a 2015 incident involving impermissible disclosure of a patient’s protected health information to a reporter. In February...

Another Major Storm, Another HHS HIPAA Privacy Rule Waiver

by Fred Donovan

HHS Secretary Alex Azar has issued another HIPAA Privacy Rule waiver for US territory the Northern Marianas Islands, which was devastated by Super Typhoon Yutu this week. Super Typhoon Yutu was a Category 5 storm when it hit the Northern...

Anthem to Pay Record $16M for HIPAA Violations Exposing 79M Records

by Fred Donovan

Anthem has agreed to pay a record $16 million, almost three times the previous highest HIPAA penalty, and to take correct actions to settle HIPAA violations that exposed the ePHI of close to 79 million people, OCR announced Oct....

Aetna Reaches Settlements with State AGs Over HIPAA Violations

by Fred Donovan

Health insurer Aetna has reached settlements with a number of state attorney generals over HIPAA violations resulting from mailings to HIV/AIDS and cardiac patients, the New Jersey attorney general announced Oct. 10. The three states and...

Iowa County Government Employee Alleges HIPAA Violation

by Fred Donovan

An employee of the Iowa’s Mahaska County government alleged that another employee committed a HIPAA violation when she locked a member of the public inside a building where files containing PHI were stored unsecured, the...

UMass Memorial to Pay $230,000 for Healthcare Data Breaches

by Fred Donovan

UMass Memorial healthcare entities have agreed to pay $230,000 to the state of Massachusetts to resolve claims that two separate healthcare data breaches exposed PHI of more than 15,000 state residents. The lawsuit by the Massachusetts...

MA Physician Gets 1-Year Probation for Criminal HIPAA Violation

by Fred Donovan

Rita Luthra, a Springfield, MA-based gynecologist, was sentenced Sept. 19 to one-year probation for a criminal HIPAA violation and obstruction of a criminal healthcare investigation. In April, a jury convicted her of allowing a...

Boston Hospitals Cough Up $1M for ‘Boston Trauma’ HIPAA Violations

by Fred Donovan

OCR announced Sept. 20 that it has fined three Boston-area hospitals close to $1 million for HIPAA violations involving the filming of ABC’s TV series “Save My Life: Boston Trauma.”* OCR reached HIPAA settlements with...

Arc of Erie County Hit With $200K Fine for HIPAA Violation

by Fred Donovan

The New York Attorney General has levied a $200,000 fine on Arc of Erie County for a HIPAA violation that exposed ePHI on 3,751 clients. The Buffalo-based nonprofit, which provides services to people with developmental disabilities,...

Identifying the Challenges to Securing Patient Data

by Insight

Cybercriminals are putting more time and resources into stealing and monetizing protected health information (PHI). The healthcare industry is growing increasingly concerned with the harvesting of credentials to gain access to an...

Oklahoma Hospital Sued for Alleged HIPAA Violation Over Drowning

by Fred Donovan

McAlester Regional Health Center (MRHC) in Oklahoma is being sued for an alleged HIPAA violation for sharing information on a boy’s drowning with his biological mother, reported the Pauls Valley Democrat newspaper on Aug. 23. The...

OCR Levies Close to $80M in HIPAA Privacy Rule Fines

by Fred Donovan

OCR has assessed close to $80 million in fines in 55 cases of HIPAA Privacy Rule violations since the rule took effect in April 2003, according to data on the HHS website. OCR has received 184,614 HIPAA complaints and has initiated 902...

Oklahoma Government in Row Over Alleged HIPAA Violation

by Fred Donovan

Two branches of Oklahoma’s government are embroiled in a controversy over whether the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs committed a HIPAA violation when it allowed VA medical aides to access patient medical records using their...

OCR On Pace To Assess Less Money in HIPAA Violation Fines in 2018

by Fred Donovan

OCR is on pace to conclude fewer HIPAA settlements and assess less money in HIPAA violation fines this year than in previous years, according to a report from the law firm Gibson Dunn. For the first half of this year, OCR has reported...

Secure Healthcare Data Sharing Not a Priority for Some Workers

by Fred Donovan

Some healthcare workers don’t follow best practices for secure healthcare data sharing, according to a survey of 1,000 US workers by Igloo Software. Thirty percent of healthcare workers use non-approved apps in the workplace because...

Federal Court Sides with Main Line Health in HIPAA Violation Case

by Fred Donovan

A federal court in Pennsylvania recently ruled against a Main Line Health employee who argued that her dismissal was due to age discrimination, not a HIPAA violation as the company claimed. Philadelphia-based Main Line Health Inc....

April Was the Cruelest Month for Healthcare Data Breaches

by Fred Donovan

April brings rain and HIPAA breaches, with April being the worst month for healthcare data breaches so far this year, according to the data posted on the OCR’s Breach Portal. For the month of April, 42 cyber incidents were reported...

Former UPMC Worker Indicted for HIPAA Violations

by Fred Donovan

Linda Sue Kalina, a former patient information coordinator at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh for HIPAA violations. The Butler County resident was charged on six counts of...

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