Establishing and maintaining effective systems to protect sensitive personal data and confidential business information from outside interference while also assuring that privacy interests are protected is among an organization’s highest priorities. Our security and privacy team at Epstein Becker & Green has written extensively about the guidance and best practices issued by federal and state regulatory and enforcement agencies. Execution, monitoring and continually updating these preventive practices define an organization’s first line of defense. But what happens in the event that an organization actually suffers a breach? Is there guidance that might be available, particularly to healthcare organizations, to deal with continuity and disaster planning (BC/DR) directed towards assuring resilience and recovery in the event of a potentially-disastrous cyberattack?
On Tuesday, August 24, 2021, California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a guidance bulletin (the “Guidance”) to health care providers reminding them of their compliance obligations under California’s health data privacy laws, and urging providers to take proactive steps to protect against cybersecurity threats. This Guidance comes, in part, as a response to federal regulators sounding the alarm over an uptick in cybercrime against hospitals and other health providers. The Guidance follows an October 2020 Joint Cybersecurity Advisory issued by the Cybersecurity and ...
On January 9, 2015, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed new legislation that will require health insurance carriers authorized to issue health benefits plans in the state—including insurance companies, health service corporations, hospital service corporations, medical service corporations, and health maintenance organizations—to encrypt personal information. Triggered by a series of data breaches involving the health information of almost a million residents, Senate Bill No. 562 (“SB 562”) was passed unanimously by both houses of the state legislature ...
On May 20, 2014, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted the agency's Annual Report to Congress on Breaches of Unsecured Protected Health Information for Calendar Years 2011 and 2012 ("Breach Report"). This report provides valuable insight for healthcare entities regarding their data security and enforcement priorities.
Section 13402(i) of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services ...
On May 20, 2014, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted the agency’s Annual Report to Congress on Breaches of Unsecured Protected Health Information for Calendar Years 2011 and 2012 (“Breach Report”). This report provides valuable insight for healthcare entities regarding their data security and enforcement priorities.
Section 13402(i) of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to prepare an annual report regarding the number and nature of ...
By Marshall Jackson and Alaap Shah
If you have tuned into the news over the last few months, you are likely aware that several major corporations—including one of the nation’s largest retail chains—have suffered data breaches. These breaches have affected hundreds of millions of consumers, and in some cases exposed sensitive financial data such as credit card information, as well as personal information including names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, usernames and passwords.
There is no doubt that a primary concern raised by these data breaches is risk ...
By: Alaap Shah and Ali Lakhani
Why is data breach such a rampant problem within the health care industry?
As health care rapidly digitizes through adoption of electronic health records, mobile applications and the like, the risk of data breach is rising exponentially. To effectively manage this risk, health care companies and their business associates must be vigilant by implementing and evaluating security controls in the form of administrative, physical and technical safeguards. Health care companies also have resources to assist them with managing this risk. Specifically ...
By: Alaap Shah and Marshall Jackson
Data is going digital, devices are going mobile, and technology is revolutionizing how care is delivered. It seems to be business as usual, as your health care organization continues to digitize its operations. You have even taken measures to help guard against the “typical” risks such as lost laptops, thumb drives and other electronic devices. However, unbeknownst to you, hackers sit in front of their computers looking for ways into your network so that they may surreptitiously peruse through confidential financial records and sensitive ...
I’m sure most of you know about BYOB, but do you know about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). This is the term used when a company chooses to forgo issuing company-owned mobile computing devices (think smartphones and tablets), and encourages its employees to use their own personal mobile devices for business purposes. And in the healthcare context, BYOD has important implications.
For better or for worse, many companies have opted to institute a BYOD policy for a number of reasons. Here are just a few rationales for BYOD:
- Employees likely already have a smartphone or tablet or both.
Is Skype HIPAA-compliant? This is probably the question I get asked the most. For the sake of this post, I am using the term Skype to include Skype and similar free web-based communication platforms relying on proprietary voice over Internet technology.
As with so many things, the answer is complicated. But the question itself is misleading. Many vendors and manufacturers market their technology and products using terms such as “HIPAA compliant.”
However, products or technology cannot themselves be “HIPAA-compliant.” Hospitals, providers, and other covered entities ...
by Pamela D. Tyner
Social media have become de rigueur globally. Today, millions maintain connections with their friends, relatives and business acquaintances via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube. Recent studies indicate that social media popularity even predicts polling popularity and the stock market. Translated to the healthcare arena, healthcare facilities and organizations are now trained to promote their business by communicating effectively via social media. In addition, patients, physicians and employees of healthcare facilities and ...
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