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Showing 25 posts in Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI).

NIST standards provides an oasis of mobile device security in the EHR desert

The healthcare industry has long awaited some certainty in the arena of mobile devices in light of the continued push for electronic health records (“EHR”) and coordinated care. The prevalence, convenience, and speed of such devices is beyond discussion. According to the 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey, found that 90% of healthcare providers use them in their organizations. Mobile devices provide clinicians with quick access to information at the point of care. However, the use of mobile devices brings a mountain of security risks for covered entities, including the loss or theft of the mobile device and unsecure exchange of health information. When every individual entering a facility has a mobile device, the large number of mobile devices using a facility’s network can overload the system. More >

HIPAA Rules and Procedures in the Event of a Data Breach, Part Two

Posted In Data Breach, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

My last post focused on the discovery and investigation of a data security breach to determine if breach notification is needed. Today’s post now turns to the requirements of breach notification triggered by a data security breach. More >

HIPAA Rules and Procedures in the Event of a Data Breach, Part One

As discussed in my prior post, recent massive data breaches at major retailers and health insurance providers paint a bleak picture of modern data and emphasize the importance of strong security safeguards and plans for handling suspected security breaches for electronic protected health information (“ePHI”). In the healthcare context, a security breach of a covered entity or a Business Associate’s (BA) data security system triggers the Security Rule and can trigger certain breach notification requirements under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”). This post will discuss the investigation needed to determine whether a breach has taken place, while the next post will discuss the necessary notifications in the event of a breach. More >

Lessons Learned from Recent Data Security Breaches, Part Two

In Tuesday’s post, I discussed how the recent data breaches at Anthem, Inc. and Target occurred. Today’s post will turn to the implications of these breaches under HIPAA/HITECH rules and what health providers can learn from them. More >

Lessons Learned from Recent Data Security Breaches, Part One

The recent series of security breaches at Target, Sony, Home Depot, and Anthem Inc. serve as stark reminders that all organizations, even the ones with most secure networks, face significant cybersecurity threats and challenges that could cause substantial financial costs and reputational damage. The Anthem security breach, in particular, should sound alarms about the need to improve the security of protected health information (“PHI”) for every covered entity. This week’s posts will discuss what health care providers can learn about preventing data breaches based on the breaches at Anthem and Target. More >

What the Anthem Cyberattack Means for the Health Care Industry

Posted In Data Breach, Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Patient Privacy

Unfortunately, account hacks and data breaches are nothing new. Every day, we hear reports of hackers compromising networks and their protected data. When it happens on a massive scale to a powerful player in the health insurance industry, however, all health care entities should sit up and take note. On February 4, 2015, Anthem Inc. (“Anthem”), the second largest health insurance company in America, admitted that hackers compromised the company’s network and stole the information of up to 80 million customers. This may be the largest health-related data breach in history. More >

Have You Reviewed Your Existing Business Associate Agreements?

Pursuant to the HIPAA Final Omnibus Rule (“Final Rule”), covered entities and their business associates were required to enter into new business associate agreements (“BAAs”) or modify existing BAAs by Sept. 23, 2013. However, existing BAAs that (i) were entered into on or before Jan. 25, 2013; (ii) met the requirements that were applicable prior to the promulgation of the Final Rule; and (iii) were not modified after March 26, 2013, have until Sept. 23, 2014 to be updated. That deadline is quickly approaching. More >

OCR Offers “Lessons Learned” Regarding HIPAA Compliance, Part II

On Tuesday, some of the details of OCR’s recently released Breach and Compliance Reports were discussed. In addition to detailing facts and figures from cases involving breaches in 2011 and 2012, the Breach Report includes an important “Lessons Learned” section that all covered entities and their business associates should review. Based upon reported breaches, the OCR has outlined some specific areas of concern, which include the following: More >

OCR Offers “Lessons Learned” Regarding HIPAA Compliance

Two recent reports issued by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), pursuant to the HITECH Act, reveal some interesting information about HIPAA data breaches. The Annual Report to Congress on Breaches of Unsecured Protection Information (“Breach Report”) and the Annual Report to Congress on HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rule Compliance (“Compliance Report”) should remind covered entities and their business associates about the many risks associated with HIPAA and the importance of compliance. More >

Electronic Data Breach Leads to Largest HIPAA Settlement to Date

Recently, the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) of the Department of Health and Human Services entered into a $4.8 million dollar settlement with two New York-based health care organizations after a data breach involving electronic protected health information occurred. The agreement is the largest HIPAA settlement thus far. More >

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