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Privacy

Time to End ‘Wild West’ of Health Data Usage in HIPAA-Free Zones

October 27, 2018  |  David Raths, Contributing Editor
commentary
An Oct. 22 meeting put on by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services brought together industry leaders and researchers to talk about the many ways genetic, wearable and EHR health data is being used.

Despite HIPAA Law, Researchers Say Getting Medical Records Still is Burdensome

October 8, 2018  |  Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
news
A recent study of 83 hospitals has revealed that there was noncompliance with federal regulations for formats of release and state regulations for request processing times.

In New Opioids Legislation, Patient Privacy Holds Serve

October 3, 2018  |  Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
commentary
Congress’ sweeping opioids legislation has created much debate in recent days and weeks, as stakeholders sit on different sides of the table over a key patient privacy element.

Report: Privacy Laws to Remain Intact as Opioids Bill Nears Completion

September 25, 2018  |  Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
news
As leading healthcare stakeholder groups remain on different sides of the fence regarding patient privacy laws in a sweeping opioids legislation, it’s looking like privacy advocates will win the battle.

House Passes Bill to Align HIPAA, 42 CFR Part 2

June 22, 2018  |  David Raths
news
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill designed to align 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA for the purposes of health care treatment, payment, and operations. One goal of the change is so that care can be better coordinated and providers can have...

One Consultant’s Take on GDPR and How It Raises the Stakes for U.S. Healthcare Organizations

April 23, 2018  |  Heather Landi
article
The General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect May 25. John Barchie, a senior fellow at Arrakis Consulting, discusses the implications for U.S. healthcare organizations and what steps organizations should be taking now to be GDPR-compliant.

ONC Names Kathryn Marchesini as Chief Privacy Officer

January 10, 2018  |  Rajiv Leventhal
news
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has named Kathryn Marchesini as the federal agency’s chief privacy officer.

SAMHSA Issues Final Rule Updating Substance Abuse Confidentiality Regulations

January 3, 2018  |  Heather Landi
news
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has finalized proposed changes to the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulation, 42 CFR Part 2, aimed at supporting payment and healthcare operations activities...

CMS Memo Clears Up Confusion around Texting of Patient Information

January 2, 2018  |  Rajiv Leventhal
news
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a notice clarifying its position on when the texting of patient information is permitted for providers.

Proposed Legislation Will Give Medical Record Clearinghouses Ability to Share Data with Patients

December 21, 2017  |  Heather Landi
news
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) has introduced a bill, the Ensuring Patient Access to Healthcare Records Act, that gives medical record clearinghouses, such as Experian and Availity, the ability to share health data and analysis with patients,...

New Legislation Intends to Align Substance Abuse Treatment Records with HIPAA

September 27, 2017  |  Rajiv Leventhal
news
Two U.S. senators are introducing a bill to bring the regulations governing substance use treatment disorder records in better alignment with the privacy rules and protections for other medical records.

Aetna Hit with Lawsuit after Potentially Exposing HIV Status of 12K Customers

August 29, 2017  |  Rajiv Leventhal
news
Health insurer Aetna is facing strong criticism as well as a class action lawsuit for a privacy breach that the company acknowledged last week in which it potentially revealed the HIV status of thousands of customers via letters that were mailed out.

Stanford Researchers Completing Genome Analysis with Patient Privacy Ensured

August 23, 2017  |  Rajiv Leventhal
news
Stanford researchers are now using a “genome cloaking” technique that scours complete human genomes for the presence of disease-associated genes without revealing any genetic information not directly associated with the inquiry.

A New EU Data Privacy Regulation Could Impact U.S. Patient Care Organizations Serving Large Numbers of International Patients

July 29, 2017  |  Mark Hagland
article
Few U.S. healthcare IT leaders are aware of a European Union data privacy regulation, GDPR, that will go into effect in May 2018—but those patient care organizations that treat large numbers of international patients every year, could be strongly affected

Survey: Greatest Impact of Blockchain will be in Medical Record Storage

June 28, 2017  |  Rajiv Leventhal
news
According to a recent survey, 60 percent of respondents believe that blockchain’s greatest impact will be in the storage of medical records, including genomic data—the fastest growing dataset in the world.

ONC Names Privacy Policy Snapshot Challenge Winners

June 7, 2017  |  Rajiv Leventhal
news
ONC has announced the winners of the Privacy Policy Snapshot Challenge, a contest that called on stakeholders to use ONC’s Model Privacy Notice (MPN) template.

Texas Health System Will Pay $2.4M to Settle Potential HIPAA Disclosure Violations

May 10, 2017  |  Heather Landi
news
Memorial Hermann Health System (MHHS) has agreed to pay a $2.4 million settlement to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and adopt a comprehensive corrective action plan stemming from potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and...

Trump Administration Appoints Roger Severino to Head Office for Civil Rights

March 24, 2017  |  Heather Landi
news
Roger Severino, a former staffer at The Heritage Foundation, has been appointed as the director of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

UMass Will Pay $650,000 to Settle Potential HIPAA Violations

November 22, 2016  |  Heather Landi
news
The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) has agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules stemming from a malware infection back in 2013.

Survey: Healthcare Orgs Not Taking Mobile Security Seriously Enough

October 25, 2016  |  Rajiv Leventhal
news
More than half (56 percent) of healthcare professionals believe their organization could be doing more to educate employees on HIPAA compliance and the rules around sharing protected health information.

OCR: Business Associates Blocking Access to Data are in Violation of HIPAA

October 4, 2016  |  Heather Landi
news
It is an impermissible use of protected health information (PHI) for a business associate to block a healthcare provider’s access to data in order to resolve a payment dispute, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) stated...

St. Jude Medical Sues Muddy Waters Over Allegations about the Security of its Cardiac Medical Devices

September 8, 2016  |  Heather Landi
news
St. Jude Medical announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Muddy Waters and its cybersecurity research partner MedSec on the basis of alleged false statements, false advertising and manipulation of the public markets.

FTC Approves Final Order against Practice Fusion for Patient Privacy Complaint

August 18, 2016  |  Heather Landi
news
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved a final order resolving it’s complaint against electronic health records (EHR) vendor Practice Fusion following charges that the company misled consumers about the privacy of the information it collected.

HHS to Fund Cybersecurity Information Sharing Organization

July 26, 2016  |  David Raths
news
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to fund a cybersecurity information sharing and analysis organization for the healthcare and public health sector.

University of Mississippi Medical Center Agrees to Pay $2.75M to Settle Potential HIPAA Violations

July 25, 2016  |  Heather Landi
news
The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) has signed a resolution agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) following an investigation of a data breach of unsecured PHI that occurred in 2013.

AHA: Mental Health Reform Bill Does Not Go Far Enough to Modernize “Part 2,” Eliminate Barriers to Data Sharing

June 16, 2016  |  Heather Landi
news
The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, H.R. 2646, passed the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee this week and will move to the House floor, but the American Hospital Association voiced disappointment that the bill did not address patient privacy...

Practice Fusion Settles with FTC Over Patient Privacy Complaint

June 10, 2016  |  Heather Landi
news
The complaint against cloud-based electronic health records (EHR) vendor Practice Fusion provides important lessons about consumer health privacy for vendors in the health IT industry, according to a Federal Trade Commission commentary post.

Report: NFL Players’ Medical Records Stolen from Trainer’s Car

June 2, 2016  |  Rajiv Leventhal
news
Thousands of National Football League (NFL) players’ paper and electronic medical records dating from 2004 were stolen from a Washington Redskins’ trainer’s car earlier this year, according to a report from sports and news media site Deadspin.
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