OCR Settles Five Privacy Rule Violations

In September of 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it settled HIPAA Privacy Rule right of access violations with five separate healthcare entities. The total settlement with all five organizations amounts to $136,500. In each instance, the healthcare provider was fined, and ended up settling with OCR, for its failure to provide patients with timely access to [...]

2020-09-16T09:00:53-04:00September 16th, 2020|

When Can You Disclose PHI Without Authorization? Refusal to Disclose COVID Data Results in Nurse Firing

A nurse at Clinton County Health Department claims she was recently fired for refusing to disclose the names and addresses of patients that had tested positive for COVID to the Clinton County Sheriff's Department. The reason the nurse refused to provide the information stemmed from HIPAA law which states that PHI cannot be disclosed outside of treatment, payment, or healthcare operations, without patient authorization. That raises the [...]

2020-09-15T09:49:59-04:00September 15th, 2020|

OCR Issues Guidance for Mobile Health App Developers

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights recently issued guidance on when HIPAA applies to health information that a patient creates, manages, or organizes through the use of a health app. The guidance also covers the issue of when mobile health app developers might need to comply with the HIPAA Rules. When are Mobile Health App Developers [...]

2020-09-14T10:03:12-04:00September 14th, 2020|

Employees Involved in Unauthorized Access to Patient Medical Records of George Floyd

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), the facility that treated George Floyd, fired 13 employees for unauthorized access to patient medical records. More details are discussed below. Unauthorized Access to Patient Medical Records: What Happened HCMC recently discovered that the medical records of George Floyd were illegally accessed by employees of the organization. HCMC first discovered the breach during its routine review [...]

2020-09-11T10:46:50-04:00September 11th, 2020|

Is SendGrid HIPAA Compliant?

SendGrid is a communication platform used for email marketing, voice, text, chat, and video. As a healthcare organization, you may be looking for a communication platform that you can use for communicating patient’s protected health information (PHI). However, before using a software, you must consider whether or not the platform is HIPAA compliant. The question of, is SendGrid HIPAA compliant, is discussed below. [...]

2020-09-09T10:09:35-04:00September 9th, 2020|

Is Google Voice HIPAA Compliant?

Google Voice is a VoIP provider - a service that transmits phone calls through an internet connection - that has become increasingly popular amid the new work from home environment. As with any software, healthcare organizations need to determine its HIPAA compliance before it can be used in conjunction with PHI. The question of, is Google Voice HIPAA compliant, is discussed below. [...]

2020-09-14T16:59:11-04:00September 3rd, 2020|

Would You Sell PHI? The Shocking Results of a Healthcare Study

Would you sell PHI as a healthcare worker? A new study reveals that many students soon to enter the workforce as a healthcare worker would. The results of the study and the permitted uses and disclosures of PHI are discussed below. Would You Sell PHI? The Results of the Study The healthcare study, published in July in JMIR Medical Informatics, was conducted by researchers from three universities (Florida [...]

2020-09-04T12:52:29-04:00September 2nd, 2020|

Is Google Calendar HIPAA Compliant?

Can you use Google Calendar to schedule patient appointments? Is Google Calendar HIPAA compliant? The convenience of using Google Calendar to schedule appointments has led many healthcare providers to wonder whether or not the platform is HIPAA compliant. Determining Google Calendar's HIPAA Compliance ◈ Security features ◈ Business associate agreement ◈ Is Google Calendar HIPAA compliant? Google Calendar HIPAA Compliant: [...]

2020-09-04T12:58:10-04:00August 17th, 2020|

HIPAA Compliant Texting and Email

As more organizations continue to work remotely, they are relying on texting and email as means of communication. For organizations that work in healthcare, it is important to determine if the communication tool they use is HIPAA compliant. HIPAA compliant texting solutions and email platforms are discussed below. HIPAA Compliant Texting and Email: What You Need to Know An essential component of HIPAA is ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and [...]

2020-08-27T17:40:02-04:00August 10th, 2020|

What are the Benefits of HIPAA Compliance?

Although HIPAA compliance is mandated for organizations working in healthcare, it also poses several benefits. The benefits of HIPAA compliance are discussed below. Benefits of HIPAA Compliance Whether you are a covered entity, business associate, or managed service provider, being HIPAA compliant can be beneficial to your business. Benefits of HIPAA compliance include trust, loyalty, profitability, and differentiation. ◈ Trust. Organizations that are HIPAA compliant are more trusted. This [...]

2020-08-27T17:41:00-04:00August 7th, 2020|
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