Healthcare Information Security

HIPAA and Compliance News

Congress Urged To Align 42 CFR Part 2 With HIPAA Privacy Rule

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The Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2 is urging Congress to include the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act (HR 6082), which would align 42 CFR Part 2 with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, in compromise opioid legislation that the House and...

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

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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

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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

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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...

Azar Waives HIPAA Privacy Rule Sanctions for Hurricane Response

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HHS Secretary Alex Azar has waived sanctions and penalties under certain HIPAA Privacy Rule provisions that apply to hospitals to enable greater sharing of information in response to Hurricane Florence making landfall on the East...

Bill Would Exempt HIPAA Covered Entities from California Privacy Law

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The California legislature has passed amendments to the sweeping California Consumer Privacy Act that would, among other changes, exempt HIPAA covered entities and business associates from the state law’s requirements. It would also...

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

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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,...

New PCORI Policy Has Data Rules In Line with HIPAA Regulations

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A new data sharing policy adopted by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) stipulates that all personally identifiable health information must be deidentified in accordance with HIPAA regulations. On Sept. 7, the PCORI...

HIPAA Privacy Rule Can Be Tool for Health Information Exchange

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Rather than being a barrier to information sharing and interoperability, the HIPAA Privacy Rule can be seen as a tool to facilitate health information exchange and flow across the health ecosystem, argued OCR and ONC in an Aug. 30 blog...

Oklahoma Hospital Sued for Alleged HIPAA Violation Over Drowning

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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

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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

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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...

HIPAA Security Rule Requires Secure Disposal of ePHI-Laden Devices

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The HIPAA Security Rule requires HIPAA covered entities and business associates to implement policies and procedures regarding the secure disposal and re-use of electronic devices and media containing ePHI so that ePHI cannot be retrieved,...

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

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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...

HHS Pushes for Changes to HIPAA Privacy Rule, 42 CFR Part 2

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In the next few months, HHS plans to issue requests for information (RFIs) about changing the HIPAA Privacy Rule and 42 CFR Part 2 to make it easier for doctors, hospitals, and payers to coordinate in delivering value-based care and...

HATA Says PMS Vendors Want to Remain HIPAA Business Associates

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Currently, practice management software (PMS) vendors are considered HIPAA business associates  and therefore subject to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, but not the HIPAA transactions and codes set requirements. The Healthcare...

How Does HIPAA Apply to Wearable Health Technology?

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The use of wearable health technology is expected to expand substantially within the next few years. Wearable devices offer many health tracking capabilities, including measuring heart rate, number of steps taken per day, and glucose and...

Amazon’s Healthcare Push Could Run into HIPAA Compliance Issues

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Amazon has been expanding rapidly into the healthcare field, but its approach to patient privacy could use a lot of tweaking if the company doesn’t want to run into HIPAA compliance problems down the road. Amazon has set up a health...

Secure Healthcare Data Sharing Not a Priority for Some Workers

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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...

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