Healthcare Information Security

PHI Security

Improper Disposal Creates PHI Security Concern for 1.8K

June 22, 2017 - On June 16, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) notified patients of a recent potential security breach that may have involved the PHI of 1,842 residents of the Houston area. The incident was discovered when a box of forms containing patient information was found near an unsecured dumpster outside a Houston eligibility office. The forms contained personal information such...


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Online Security Breach Exposes PHI of 5K Medicaid Patients

by Kate Monica

On April 7, 2017, officials from the Mississippi Division of Medicaid (DOM) discovered evidence of a potential online security breach exposing the PHI of approximately 5,220 patients. An investigation into the incident revealed the potential...

Cases Underline Audit Controls, Minimum Necessary Standard

by Elizabeth Snell

Healthcare organizations of all sizes need to utilize proper audit controls to ensure that employees are remaining compliant and following proper procedure. Lacking administrative safeguards could lead to numerous types of malicious activity,...

PHI Security Breach Potentially Affects 2K ND Medicaid Patients

by Kate Monica

On May 10, 2017, the North Dakota Department of Human Services (NDDHS) discovered a report of discarded NDDHS Medicaid claim resolution worksheet documents containing PHI. The papers were reportedly found in a dumpster in Bismark, North Dakota....

Improving Patient Privacy, Workflow with HIPAA Compliant Forms

by Elizabeth Snell

Cloud-based services are quickly becoming more common in healthcare, especially as organizations are trying to find HIPAA compliant ways of keeping ePHI secure. However, these tools cannot hinder how physicians and staff members perform daily...

Unauthorized PHI Access at Coney Island Hospital Impacts 3.4K

by Kate Monica

On March 10, 2017, NYC Health + Hospitals at Coney Island discovered that it had suffered unauthorized PHI access occurring over the course of three months from December 2016 to March 2017. The incident involved a volunteer working in the Phlebotomy...

CIOs Report Budgets are Top Patient Data Security Risk

by Elizabeth Snell

Patient data security should always be a top priority for healthcare providers, but ensuring PHI security has become more difficult as clinical mobility continues to expand. Just over half – 56 percent – of surveyed healthcare CIOs...

49% of Orgs Report File Sharing Data Breach in Past 2 Years

by Elizabeth Snell

With more healthcare organizations looking to cloud computing and file sharing options, PHI privacy and security cannot be overlooked. Failing to account for how these tools interact with sensitive data or work to keep that data secure could...

Virginia Mason Patient Data Privacy Breach Leads to Lawsuit

by Elizabeth Snell

After receiving $8.5 million in a medical negligence lawsuit, a Washington couple is filing another lawsuit against Virginia Mason Medical Center for its alleged actions following a patient data privacy breach. Matthew and Sarah Hipps, MD, claim...

Texas Hospital Email Hack Exposes PHI of over 8K Patients

by Kate Monica

On February 21, 2017, an unauthorized individual accessed an employee email account containing PHI at Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg, Texas. Hill Country stated the email hack appears to be the result of intentional criminal...

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...

Calif. Patient Privacy Case Reaches State Supreme Court

by Elizabeth Snell

Oral arguments in a patient privacy case were presented to the California Supreme Court earlier this week, claiming that controlled substance prescription data collected and submitted to the state justice department should remain protected. In...

Report Finds 16.6M Affected by 2016 Healthcare Data Breaches

by Elizabeth Snell

There was a record number of healthcare data breaches reported in 2016, with unauthorized disclosures accounting for the majority of those incidents, according to the Bitglass 2017 Healthcare Breach Report. Hacking and IT incidents still pose...

MDLive Lawsuit Claims Patient Data Privacy Violations

by Elizabeth Snell

Allegations were recently filed against a telehealth provider, claiming that the company committed patient privacy violations and disclosed customer information to a third-party organization. MDLive, Inc. is facing a class-action lawsuit filed...

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...

Kentucky Health Center Ensures PHI Security After Email Gaffe

by Kate Monica

On February 3, 2017, Women’s Care of Somerset (WCS) employees erroneously disclosed the email addresses of all recipients of an informative email regarding health-related services to the other recipients. According to a written press release,...

Prioritizing Healthcare Data Security in Aggregation, Sharing

by Elizabeth Snell

Data aggregation is quickly becoming a larger issue in healthcare, especially as organizations begin to switch over from fee-for-service models to value-based healthcare. As entities continue to gather, store, and transfer sensitive information,...

HHS OIG Phone Scam Raises Patient Data Privacy Concerns

by Elizabeth Snell

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) hotline number for reporting fraud was recently spoofed, according to an HHS statement. Individuals reported receiving phone calls claiming to be from HHS OIG, requesting that they confirm personal information...

OCR Urges End-to-End Security, Verified HTTPS to Protect PHI

by Elizabeth Snell

Implementing end-to-end connection security on internet transactions using Secure Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTPS) can help healthcare organizations better protect PHI and even detect malware, according to OCR’s latest cybersecurity...

GAO Finds Identity Theft Services Limited in Fraud Prevention

by Elizabeth Snell

Identity theft services offer several benefits to organizations and individuals, but there are limitations in fraud prevention and other identity protection services, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Medical...

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