Imagine you have completed your HIPAA risk assessment and implemented a robust privacy and security plan designed to meet each criteria of the Omnibus Rule.  You think that, should you suffer a data breach involving protected health information as defined under HIPAA (PHI), you can show the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human

In January 2011 this blog series discussed here and here that the University of Rochester Medical Center (“URMC” or the “Medical Center”) became a marcher twice in 2010 in the parade of large Protected Health Information (“PHI”) security breaches.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) publishes a list (the “HHS List”), which

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.
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Five members of Congress are co-signers of a bipartisan letter dated December 2, 2011, addressed to the Director of the TRICARE Management Authority to express the Congress members’ “deep concerns about a major breach of personally identifiable and protected health information by TRICARE contractor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).”
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Given earlier assurances to the “approximately 4.9 million patients treated at military hospitals and clinics during the past 20 years” that the risk of harm was low from the SAIC PHI breach and there was no conclusive evidence that patients were at risk of identity theft, one can speculate as to whether Tricare/DoD’s abrupt about-face as to offering credit monitoring and restoration services relates to new evidence, a revised judgment as to the risk of harm to affected patients and/or simply an abundance of caution as to its own exposure to risk.
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When is the mere “ability” to read protected health information (“PHI”), without evidence that the PHI was actually read or was likely to have been read, enough to trigger the notice requirement under the Breach Notification Rule? Recent PHI security breaches, including that being confronted by the Department of Defense and SAIC, Inc. will provide some information and guidance.
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Excerpt:

When is the mere “ability” to read protected health information (“PHI”), without evidence that the PHI was actually read or was likely to have been read, enough to trigger the notice requirement under the Breach Notification Rule? Recent PHI security breaches, including that being confronted by the Department of Defense and SAIC, Inc. will provide some information and guidance.
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When is the mere “ability” to read protected health information (“PHI”), without evidence that the PHI was actually read or was likely to have been read, enough to trigger the notice requirement under the Breach Notification Rule? Recent PHI security breaches, including that being confronted by the Department of Defense and SAIC, Inc. will provide some information and guidance.
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