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HIPAA

Home/HIPAA

A Costly Lesson in Untimely Reporting of a HIPAA Breach

Presence St. Joseph Medical Center, a hospital of Presence Health Network, a large healthcare system serving Illinois, waited more than three months before it notified the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of a breach involving 836 individuals.  The untimely reporting cost the healthcare system $475,000 to settle with the HHS, including strict compliance

Webinar Q&A: Business Associate Agreements

First Healthcare Compliance hosted an educational webinar, “Business Associate Agreements: What You Need to Know” with Jennifer Gimler Brady, Esq. of Potter, Anderson, Corroon, LLP. Click here to view the webinar. For covered entities and business associates, Jennifer provides answers to some commonly asked questions regarding Business Associate Agreements (BAA). Is a physician practice required

Don’t Be Unprepared for a Breach by a Business Associate

Covered entities should be very concerned about the possibility of a major breach of protected health information (PHI) originating from a Business Associate (BA).  According to the Health and Human Services’ Wall of Shame, a single breach in 2015 by a BA in Indiana affected more than 3.9 million individuals which is more than all

HIPAA Breach: To Be Or Not To Be?

Under HIPAA, a breach is any impermissible use or disclosure of protected health information (PHI) that does not fit into one of the following exceptions (45 C.F.R. §164.402): Unintentional access, use, or acquisition of PHI by an employee of covered entity or business associate (BA) made in good faith and would not result in further

How to Prevent HIPAA Violations

What can we learn from the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) recent announcements regarding two of the largest settlements ever reported for HIPAA violations? The settlements total $3.9 million and $1.5 million respectively and both stem from an unencrypted laptop stolen from an employee’s car. The Feinstein Institute of Medical Research suffered a data breach in 2012 of over 13,000

Compliance Program: What is the Value?

The value placed on a compliance program varies greatly with perspective and remains difficult to define. Obviously, the purpose of a compliance program is to prevent and deter wrongdoing. A strong program preempts problems. However, it is difficult to know what might happen in the future or what could have gone wrong in the past.

HIPAA Privacy Rule Changes Address Gun Control

On January 4, 2016, the Obama administration rolled out a number of executive actions addressing gun control, one of which impacts the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). To this end, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule narrowly modifying the HIPAA Privacy Rule to allow certain covered entities

Individual’s Rights to Access PHI

An individual’s right to access their protected health information (PHI) should be nothing new to covered entities. In 1996, HIPAA Privacy Rule detailed an individual’s right to access PHI. As part of HITECH and the Final Omnibus Rule, modifications to the Privacy Rule have included additional requirements for covered entities and business associates. Unfortunately, recent

Is Your Compliance Program Effective?

Having a compliance program in place is a start but having an effective compliance program is the goal. Proactively assessing the effectiveness of one’s own compliance program is better than the Department of Justice making a determination of the adequacy as a result of an investigation for alleged misconduct. To set benchmarks for an effective

Deadline for Breach Reporting Coming Soon

As the end of the year approaches, keep in mind that all breaches of unsecured protected health information involving less than 500 individuals must be reported to the Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 60 days of the end of the calendar year. If the organization already reported a breach