PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

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What Are the Requirements for HIPAA Training?

HIPAA Training Requirements - TeachPrivacy 01

HIPAA training is an specific requirement of HIPAA. HIPAA requires that covered entities (CEs) and business associates (BAs) provide HIPAA training to members of their workforce who handle protected health information (PHI).  This means administrative and clinical personnel need to be trained.  Business associates — and any of their subcontractors — must have training.  Basically, […]

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Cartoon: De-Identifying PHI under HIPAA

Cartoon HIPAA De-Identification - TeachPrivacy HIPAA Training 02 small

  This cartoon is about de-identifying PHI under HIPAA.  De-identifying personal data is quite complicated. Researchers have been able to re-identify sets of personal data with just names, birth dates, and gender. The reason why de-identifying data is difficult is that there is more and more identified personal data online that can be matched up […]

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First OCR Enforcement of HIPAA’s Right of Access

HIPAA Right to Access

Days after my recent blog post on the HIPAA Right of Access, the OCR released details of their first enforcement action for violation of the Right of Access. The complaint, received in August 2018, involved a mother who waited over 9 months to receive prenatal records from Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg.  She requested the […]

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The Failure of HIPAA’s Right of Access

HIPAA Right to Access PHI - TeachPrivacy 02

One of the biggest sore spots in HIPAA compliance has been providing individuals with their right to access their medical records. In addition to the countless anecdotal accounts about the painful process of getting medical records, a recent study demonstrated just how far there is to go for providers to be in compliance.  More than […]

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A Major Move to Weaken HIPAA

HIPAA Penalties Reduced

Quietly, at the end of April, HIPAA was significantly weakened.  HHS published what sounds like an innocuous notification in the Federal Register: Notification of Enforcement Discretion Regarding HIPAA Civil Money Penalties.  This notification is actually an enormous change to the HIPAA penalty structure, a drastic reduction in HIPAA fines. The existing penalty structure under HIPAA […]

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Increasing State HIPAA Enforcement: Highlights from 2018

State HIPAA Enforcement - increasing 02

There have been quite a number of state HIPAA enforcement cases this year, and one expert points out a trend toward increasing state enforcement of HIPAA. An article in Data Breach Today discusses a number of state HIPAA enforcement cases.  Here are some of the ones discussed: Massachusetts — $75,000 settlement with McLean Hospital for […]

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The Persistent Problems with Access to Records Under HIPAA

HIPAA Access to Medical Records

A study released last month in Jama Open Network entitled Assessment of US Hospital Compliance With Regulations for Patients’ Requests for Medical Records demonstrates that compliance with HIPAA’s right to access medical records remains woeful.  In the second half of 2017, researchers contacted 83 US hospitals and conducted a simulated patient experience to ask for medical records. […]

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Yes, HIPAA Requires Medical Records to Be Emailed to Patients if Requested

Email Medical Records

Have you ever asked your healthcare provider to send you medical records by email?  Most likely, you’ve received the reply: “We can’t do that.  We can only fax them to you or provide you with a paper copy.”  This answer is wrong. HIPAA’s right for individuals to access their health information, 45 CFR § 164.524, provides: […]

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HIPAA Cartoon: Notice of Privacy Practices

Cartoon HIPAA Notice - TeachPrivacy HIPAA Training 02 medium

This HIPAA cartoon involves the notice of privacy practices (NPP) under HIPAA.  HIPAA has a set of detailed requirements for the NPP.  See 45 CFR 164.520 for the text of HIPAA’s requirement for NPPs. The biggest challenge regarding privacy notices is that hardly anyone actually reads the notice, and notices are often a chore to read. There is […]

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