On April 22, 2024, the federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a final rule enhancing privacy protections relating to reproductive health care. Specifically, the final rule amends the Privacy Rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to, among other things, establish new limits on the

Phishing has long been a favorite tactic for threat actors (hackers) to commence a cyberattack. The rapid expansion of more adaptable and available artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, such as natural language processing and large language models, now fuels more ferocious phishing campaigns. The effects are being felt in many industries, perhaps most notably the healthcare

What do ransomware, Yelp, and website tracking technologies all have in common? They are troubling areas of concern for HIPAA covered entities and business associates, according to one official from the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR) which enforces the HIPAA privacy and security rules. Recently, the Executive Editor of Information Security Media Group’s (ISMG’s)

The healthcare sector is a prime target for data breaches. According to a summary by the HIPAA Journal, 32% of all data breaches between 2015 and 2022 were in the healthcare sector, “almost double the number recorded in the financial and manufacturing sectors.” Industry analysts cite to many reasons for this, including the sensitivity

Recently, things may have sped up a little in your doctor’s office. The notes for your recent visit may have been organized and filed a little more quickly. You might have received assistance sooner than expected with a physician letter to your carrier concerning a claim. You also may have received copies of those medical

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Trade Commission have sent a joint letter to approximately 130 hospital systems and telehealth providers to emphasize the risks and concerns about the use of technologies, such as the Meta/Facebook pixel and Google Analytics, that can track a user’s online activities. We have summarized each

It is not the first time we have written about complaints, OCR settlements, and even jail time following snooping by hospital employees into patient records. For example, as COVID raged, an investigation showed that for approximately 10 months ending in February, 2021, an employee at a California state hospital improperly accessed approximately 2,000 individuals’ COVID-19

Unhappy consumers, including patients, are free to express dissatisfaction with services they receive from providers on popular social media or online review platforms, such as Yelp and Google. At least in the healthcare industry, providers must be very careful when responding, if they respond at all.

“OCR continues to receive complaints about health care

We have written several times about U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights’ “HIPAA Right of Access Initiative.” In its most recent enforcement action under the Initiative, the 44th such enforcement action, the OCR investigated a complaint made against a psychotherapist concerning the alleged refusal to provide medical records. Ultimately, and

Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a bulletin with guidance concerning the use of online tracking technologies by covered entities and business associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The OCR Bulletin follows a significant uptick in litigation concerning these technologies