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HIPAA, HITECH & HIT Legal Issues, Developments and Other Pertinent Information Relating To The Creation, Use and Exchange of Electronic Health Records

Category Archives: Lawsuits

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Dumpster Diving for PHI Exposes Business Associate (and Physician Practice) to Liability

Posted in Lawsuits, Privacy & Security, Uncategorized

A Chicago record storage and disposal company has been named in a complaint filed by the Illinois Attorney General as a result of the negligent disposal of a medical practice’s patient records in an unlocked dumpster.   The complaint alleges that FileFax, Inc. violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act by failing to… Continue Reading

Connecticut “Opens Floodgates” for HIPAA Litigation

Posted in Lawsuits, Privacy & Security

My partner Elizabeth Litten and I were recently interviewed for an article entitled “Connecticut ‘opens floodgates’ for HIPAA litigation” published in “Privacy this Week” by DataGuidance. The full text of the article can be found in the November 13, 2014 issue of “Privacy this Week,” but a discussion of the article is set forth below.… Continue Reading

PHI Breach Involving Health Plan Leads to Lawsuit by Identity Theft Victims Who Were Plan Members

Posted in Lawsuits, Privacy & Security

The principle that individuals whose protected health information is stolen, lost, or otherwise inappropriately used, accessed, or left unsecured have no private right of action against the person or entity responsible for the breach under the HIPAA/HITECH laws may change for victims of identity theft who can show the theft was caused by a HIPAA breach, at least if the action is brought in the 11th Circuit.

The Hazards of Data Mining: Minnesota AG Sues Collection Agency for Breach, Improper Use of PHI

Posted in Lawsuits

A Wall Street-based medical collection service has been sued by the Minnesota Attorney General after losing a laptop containing sensitive information about 23,500 patients treated by two hospitals which contracted with the company. More significantly, the AG’s complaint alleges that the company, Accretive Health, Inc., was mining, analyzing and using the data for purposes that… Continue Reading

Help Me Understand HIPAA!

Posted in Lawsuits, Privacy & Security

It’s been years since HIPAA became a household term.  Yet, there continues to be a significant amount of confusion about when it applies, what types of uses and disclosures of PHI are  permitted, and if individuals can sue someone for a HIPAA violation.   The Office for Civil Rights recently published separate guides, one for health care providers and one for patients, to… Continue Reading

GINA (the new federal law, not a girl) May Spur Lawsuits

Posted in Lawsuits, Sensitive Health Information

Yesterday, the White House Office of the Press Secretary announced that President Bush signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 ("GINA").  The intent of GINA is to protect individuals from employers and insurance companies denying employment, promotions or health coverage to people when genetic tests show they have a predisposition to cancer, heart disease, or other ailments. … Continue Reading

Courts Begin Allowing Plaintiffs To Use HIPAA as Standard in Privacy Suits

Posted in Lawsuits

The National Law Journal reported in its June 2007 issue that The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is raising new legal fears for health care providers concerning privacy suits. Labor and employment attorneys are concerned that courts have begun to let plaintiffs use HIPAA standards to prove liability in privacy suits, even though… Continue Reading