Articles and Blogs

Health Information Technology

Repeated Breaches of ePHI Result in a $3 Million Fine, Capping Off OCR’s “Record Year” of 2018 Enforcement Actions

[02/19/19]

Posted on February 19, 2019 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

The Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that a health system in California (the “System”) was required to pay a $3 million fine and adopt an extensive corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). The System operates several hospitals, including a rehabilitation hospital... READ MORE

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Business Associate’s Data Breach Leads to $500,000 Fine for Hospitalist Group

[12/10/18]

Posted on December 10, 2018 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced on December 4, 2018 that a hospitalist group (“Group”) that works with hospitals and nursing homes to provide internal medicine physicians has agreed to pay $500,000 and adopt a corrective action plan to settle alleged violations of the Health Insurance... READ MORE

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Disclosing PHI to a Reporter Leads to $125,000 HIPAA Settlement

[11/29/18]

Posted on November 29, 2018 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), announced that a small professional association with three doctors and four locations (the “Practice”) has agreed to pay $125,000 and adopt a corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). The... READ MORE

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Largest Health Data Breach = Largest OCR Settlement in History

[10/19/18]

Posted on October 19, 2018 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

On October 15, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that it had reached a record $16 million settlement with Anthem arising out of alleged violations of the Privacy and Security Rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). The settlement comes... READ MORE

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Hospitals Fined for Allowing Documentary Film Crews to Film Patients Without Consent

[09/24/18]

Posted on September 24, 2018 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) fined three separate hospitals a cumulative total of $999,000 to settle potential violations of HIPAA arising from allowing film crews on premises to film a reality television show without first obtaining patient authorizations. The OCR Resolution Agreement can be found here. Generally, a... READ MORE

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SAMHSA Releases Additional Changes to 42 CFR “Part 2” Substance Use Disorder Confidentiality Regulations

[01/26/18]

Posted on January 26, 2018 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

On January 3, 2018, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) issued final regulations (“Final Rule“)[i] intended to update and modernize the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulations at Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 2 (“Part 2“).[ii]... READ MORE

SSAE 18 Replaces SSAE 16 Data Security Audit Standard – Practical Takeaways

[01/22/18]

Posted on January 22, 2018 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

As hospitals and health-related entities, like other businesses, continue to shift application hosting and data storage to the cloud and to third party data centers, they should consider what obligations to place on vendors that provide such hosting and data storage services to promote data security. One such obligation may be to require hosting... READ MORE

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FCC Considering Overhaul to Funding for Health Care Broadband and Telecommunications Programs

[01/15/18]

Posted on January 15, 2018 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

Annually, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) provides $400 million in funding to health care providers who serve rural populations through its Rural Health Care Program (“RHC Program”). The RHC Program is aimed at improving and reducing the cost of communications services that are used in providing health care services to residents of the rural... READ MORE

CMS Clarifies that Texting PHI Through Secure Platforms Is Permissible – But Not Orders!

[12/29/17]

Posted on December 29, 2017 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

In a December 28, 2017, a memo (“Memo”) to state survey agency directors, CMS made clear that texting patient information is allowed as long as a secure texting platform is used, recognizing the importance of texting as an “essential and valuable means of communication among the team members” caring for patients. Providers must comply with... READ MORE

CMS Prohibition on Texting? Evaluating Next Steps for Your Organization

[12/28/17]

Posted on December 28, 2017 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

For an update to this article, please click here. As stated in our previous blog, while there has been no official guidance from CMS regarding a broad prohibition on the texting of protected health information (“PHI”), there has been significant discussion in industry circles about CMS’s recently stated position against texting PHI. As reported in... READ MORE