The deadline for complying with the Omnibus Rule is quickly approaching. Psst…it’s September 23 for most covered entities (CEs) and business associates (BAs). I’ve been tardy in getting blog posts made because I’ve been happy to have the opportunity to help my hundreds of Compliance Helper and Privacy Professor clients to get into compliance with all the HIPAA and HITECH rules, many just getting there for the first time, in addition to the Omnibus Rule changes and new requirements. I’ve been getting a lot of HIPAA questions from many of the CEs and BAs. I thought it would be helpful to provide some of them on my blog. I’ll start with an interesting question about (more…)
Archive for the ‘CE’ Category
Don’t tell me it depends! Well, sorry, but…
I’ve been involved in several interesting discussions (some with lawyers, some with security folks, some with privacy folks, and a few of the folks wearing all three hats) about the liability of organizations that outsource business processing. Since January 17 I’ve also been working on a wide range of documentation changes to reflect the recently released 563 page tome that is the Final HIPAA Omnibus Rule. A significant part of the documentation and writing involves discussion of the increased liability a covered entity (CE) now has for the bad practices and mistakes made by their business associates (BAs).
Organizations want a clear cut answer to “how liable” they are for the actions of their outsourced entities. One CISO at a conference demanded, “Just tell me; are we going to be held responsible for the actions of our business associates or not? Just (more…)
Are you a covered entity (CE) or business associate (BA) as defined by HIPAA? There are literally millions of organizations in the U.S. that fall under these definitions, and possibly additional millions of BAs outside of the U.S. providing services to U.S.-based CEs. The impact is significant, and truly world-wide. If you are a CE or BA, did you know that your information security and privacy activities, or lack thereof, could cause physical harm to patients and insureds, and that you can receive significant penalties under the new HIPAA rules based upon those impacts? (more…)
The final HIPAA “mega rule” is going to be officially published on the Federal Register tomorrow, January 25, 2013. Currently the version available (https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2013-01073.pdf) is “pre-publication” version.
Over the past week I’ve had numerous CEs and BAs contacting me, frantic to change their BA Agreements to “avoid complying with the Mega Rule for another year!” Wait, folks. You are misunderstanding; this is a very specific extension that only applies to the BA Agreements. Let me explain… (more…)
This week I spoke with a small (~25 employees) organization (a business associate providing services to healthcare providers) that contacted me looking for help; they had purchased a whiz-bang “HIPAA compliance GRC” solution that included with everything else information security policies, but they couldn’t make any sense of the policies they were given or how they related to the rest of the expensive GRC tool. Grrr!! There are (more…)
Last week I provided Howard Anderson at HealthInfosecurity.com with some of my thoughts about the recent Utah Department of Health breach of the files of 900,000 individuals, and counting. He included some of my thoughts in his blog post, along with thoughts from others. I wanted to provide my full reply here, along with some expanded thoughts.
As background, for those of you who may not have heard of this hack yet, in a nutshell: (more…)
“Is a W-2 form protected health information?” is a simple question with a complex answer that begins (I know, to the nail-biting chagrin of many), “It depends…”
First the full question: (more…)
On October 10, 2011, there was a report in the Baltimore Sun, “Law firm loses hard drive with patient records: Attorneys represent St. Joseph cardiologist sued for malpractice.” I posted about the report to one of the LinkedIn groups I participate in, pointing out that this is yet one more example of (more…)