Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Newly effective regulations governing confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) records now more closely mirror regulations implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and other federal law. The new measures ease the administrative burden on programs by aligning regulations governing the privacy of Part 2 SUD records with the regulatory framework

You are the HIPAA privacy official of a hospital or health plan (a covered entity under HIPAA). You receive an email from a vendor that handles protected health information (a business associate), informing you that one month ago an unauthorized actor infiltrated its information systems. The intruder may have gained access to information about your

The State of Washington appears close to enacting a new law that regulates the privacy of consumer health information.   If passed, the new law – the My Health My Data Act (MHMDA) –would take effect March 31, 2024 and apply to non-governmental entities that collect, process, share, or sell health information that can be linked

In early November, Pennsylvania amended its data breach notification law broadening the definition of personal information.  The amendment adds “health insurance information” and “medical information” as data elements that could trigger breach notification requirements.  Coupled with this addition is a breach notification exception for businesses that are (1) subject to and (2) in compliance with

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance to address how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule applies to various entities’ requests for information related to an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status.

HHS emphasized that the Privacy Rule applies only to covered entities, including health plans and most

On September 15, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a policy statement affirming the applicability of its Health Breach Notification Rule (the “Rule”), 16 CFR Part 318, to health apps and connected devices that are not subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) but are capable of drawing information from multiple sources.
Continue Reading  FTC Guidance Affirms Breach Notification Obligations for Health Apps and Connected Devices

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has continued its enforcement of HIPAA’s privacy and security rules in the new administration, announcing a number of settlements of alleged violations in the first seven months of 2021.  This settlement activity followed a few other significant HIPAA developments

The new year began with an unusual amount of activity related to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Health care providers, health plans, health care clearinghouses, and business associates subject to HIPAA will need to consider three significant developments—one regulatory, one legislative, and one judicial—relating to the Privacy and Security Rules under HIPAA and the related Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH).
Continue Reading  A Fast Start: 2021 Begins With Major HIPAA Developments

On December 18, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued guidance specific to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) and the COVID-19 public health emergency. The guidance addresses permitted HIPAA disclosures of Protected Health Information (“PHI”) by covered entities and business associates via health information exchanges (“HIEs”) for certain public health purposes.
Continue Reading  OCR Issues Guidance Related to PHI Disclosures During COVID

Following a very quiet start to HIPAA settlement activity in 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced eight settlements with covered entities and business associates.

The most recent of these announcements involves the second-largest HIPAA settlement amount in OCR’s history, amounting to $6.85 million.