Security Breach Notification

It’s that time again for year-in-review articles. On December 16, 2019,  Modern Healthcare has published an infographic that compares HIPAA breaches which occurred in 2019 to aggregate breach statistics from 2010-2018.  The 2019 data was analyzed through the end of November. A few interesting trends appear.  Let’s go to the numbers:

Breaches by Location:

In

Under HIPAA, where do we draw the line between a run-of-the-mill, ordinary garden variety “security incident” and a “presumed breach” when it comes to reporting PHI events? How do we describe these types of reporting obligations in business associate agreements?
Continue Reading Do I really need to report (or get a report on) every “Security Incident” under the sun to comply with HIPAA?

On February 7, 2013, our partner Keith McMurdy, Esq., posted an excellent entry on the Employee Benefits Blog of Fox Rothschild LLP that merits republishing for our readers as well. The post outlined some direct effects of the new HIPAA Omnibus Rule on employers and their health plans.
Continue Reading The New and Improved HIPAA/HITECH Rules: What Employers Need to Know

While the summaries of closed investigations posted on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services list of breaches of unsecured PHI affecting 500 or more individuals continue to provide highly useful information for covered entities, business associates and subcontractors relative to confronting PHI breaches, large and small, they must be analyzed with appropriate care and attention paid to changes brought about by the recently-published Omnibus Rule.
Continue Reading Collateral Effects of the Omnibus Rule: Exercise Caution in Using Past OCR Summaries on Large PHI Breaches as a Roadmap for Future Guidance

As of January 1, 2013, there were 525 postings on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services list of breaches of unsecured PHI affecting 500 or more individuals. “Theft” constituted the majority of PHI breach types reported.
Continue Reading The Parade of Major Reported PHI Breaches Creeps Ahead to 525 – Theft Continues to Dominate the Numbers

SAIC’s recent Motion to Dismiss the Consolidated Amended Complaint filed in federal court in Florida as a putative class action highlights the gaps between an incident (like a theft) involving PHI, a determination that a breach of PHI has occurred, and the realization of harm resulting from the breach.
Continue Reading Back to the SAIC Breach and a Look Across the Chasm Between Significant Risk and Actual Harm Resulting from a HIPAA Breach

 A New England hospital has reported the disappearance of backup tapes containing ultrasound images and personal data of 14,000 patients. How do you handle a data loss when you don’t have any way of determining where the data went or who may have seen it?  Is it still a “breach” in the technical sense?

These questions

A thoughtful reader commented on a recent blog post in this series by highlighting the importance of evaluating the risk of harm by any covered entity that experiences a PHI security breach.
Continue Reading A Reader’s Comment about a Third Potential Posting on the HHS Breach Parade for Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Much has been written about the circumstances surrounding the agreement of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (“MEEI”) to pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the sum of $1.5 million to settle potential violations involving an alleged 2010 security breach of PHI under HIPAA. However, relatively little has been written that the 2010 breach was the second of what may be three significant PHI breaches experienced by MEEI within the last three years.
Continue Reading As the Breach Parade Passes 500 Marchers: Should There be a Posting on the HHS List for a Third Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Breach?

The recent paucity of postings of summaries on the Department of Health and Human Services list of large HIPAA privacy breaches by the federal Office of Civil Rights dampens the educational value that can be derived therefrom by covered entities and business associates.
Continue Reading As the Parade of Major PHI Breaches Marches Ever Onward, Where Have All the OCR Summaries Gone?