News and Toolkit Updates
Recent breach shows importance of BA agreements
Carefully managing your Business Associates (BA) agreements is important. At PrivaPlan we can’t emphasize that enough. The following story illustrates why. As if going to the dentist doesn’t cause enough anxiety, last week 4300 dental patients learned that their personal records may have been compromised. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston contacted the patients about…
Final Guidance from OCR released on De-identification of PHI!
De-identification of PHI has become an increasingly complex issue and requirement with the increased use of electronic health records, health information exchanges and related. The Office of Civil Rights has been working on update guidance on methods of de-identification for some time. The final guidance is now available.
From the PrivaPlan Blog
Can I share a coronavirus patient’s information to protect the public?
This month in light of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a bulletin reminding HIPAA covered entities and their business associates of the ways they may share patient information during an outbreak of infectious disease or other emergency situations.
Do you understand what PHI is?
An apparent lack of understanding of what defines Protected Health Information (PHI) has cost one hospital system $2.175 million in fines to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Are your Business Associates protecting your patient data?
This week, American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), the billing collections vendor for both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, reported to both companies that the data of nearly 20 million customers may have been compromised.
HHS reduces maximum civil penalties for HIPAA violations
The HHS published a Notification of Enforcement Discretion Regarding HIPAA Civil Money Penalties that changes the interpretation of fines for violations defined under the HITECH Act, effectively reducing some of the annual limits.
Email breaches in three states expose protected health information
Three email system breaches in three states exposed protected health information and each healthcare entity is stepping up efforts so it won't happen again.
Payroll phishing scam targets university employees
Three university personnel began the new year without paychecks after falling victim to a payroll phishing scam.
PrivaPlan advises rural health care staff to train, train and retrain
Train, train and retrain is at the top of PrivaPlan’s list of practical solutions for being HIPAA compliant.
PrivaPlan HIPAA Certification Program promotes culture of compliance
PrivaPlan’s HIPAA Certification Program is giving healthcare professionals access to what had once been next to impossible to find: a one-stop shop to become a certified HIPAA expert.
HHS waives HIPAA sanctions and penalties for hurricane-affected hospitals
As Hurricane Florence continues its destructive path, hospitals affected by the storm have been given the go ahead to break certain provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
Judge rules in favor of OCR, orders cancer center to pay $4.3 for HIPAA violations
A HHS Administrative Law Judge has ruled that MD Anderson violated HIPAA and is requiring the Texas cancer center to pay $4.3 million in penalties to the OCR.
HIMSS survey shows significant security incidents
The annual HIMSS cybersecurity survey released March 8 revealed that nearly 76 percent of health information security professionals believe their organizations experienced a significant security incident in the past 12 months.
Phishing scam exposes PHI of patients at Colorado Mental Health Institute
As the year comes to an end, there appears to be no end in sight for healthcare data hacks. An employee at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo recently fell for a phishing scam that potentially exposed the PHI of 650 patients.
Will a Federal Data Security and Breach Notification Act finally get passed?
Three Democratic Senators re-introduced a Data Security and Breach Notification Act on Thursday that has failed to get legislative approval since 2015.
New HIPAA guidance released in opioid crisis
Responding to the opioid crisis, the OCR explains when and how healthcare providers can share a patient’s health information without violating HIPAA.
Our experts talk security with rural health care group
David Ginsberg talked about cyber security during one of the three sessions he led at the Colorado Rural Health Care Annual Rural Health Conference this week.
Expect phishing attacks to follow Equifax hack
With news that cyber criminals stole 143 million credit records in a hacking scandal at Equifax, highly targeted spear phishing attacks are expected.
Latest HIMSS cybersecurity report: threats rise, so does security
The August 2017 HIMSS Cybersecurity Report indicates that respondents are taking proactive steps to stay ahead of security threats.
A new cyber threat is also a HIPAA Security threat
Recent analysis of a new variant of what appeared to be ransomware turns out instead to be malicious software that erases files on computers.
Survey finds 68% healthcare employees will share sensitive info
Results from a recent survey reveal that 68% of healthcare employees occasionally share confidential or regulated data.
Health data breaches rise significantly in March
The number of health data breaches for March was more than January and February combined.
FBI warns of cyber attacks on FTP servers in healthcare
An FBI alert warns the healthcare sector that cyber criminals have stepped up attacks targeting their FTP servers.
HIPAA settlement proves value of audit controls
Having policies and procedures in place is good, as long as you have audit controls to ensure they’re implemented, unlike this Florida healthcare system.
Hospital’s fate warns of tax season scams
On January 25, it was discovered that the tax information of 1,457 hospital employees had fallen into a scammer’s hands in one of the latest W-2 business email compromise attacks.
Patient behind breach using hospital library laptop
The New Hampshire DHHS says a former patient is behind a breach that began on a laptop in the hospital library, affecting approximately 15,000 patients.
Hack of Quest Diagnostics affects 34k people
Quest Diagnostics Inc. is investigating a hack into an internet application on its network that exposed the PHI of about 34,000 people.