Someone recently commented that I write a lot of blog posts based on my work and what my clients, students and others I meet at conferences and training classes have said or done. Well, that’s because such interactions often create some very good teaching moments that many others could benefit from! And so, yes, now I have another such experience to share. One of my new Compliance Helper clients recently told me, “I still don’t know what I need to do for HIPAA/HITECH compliance that is not covered under the compliance activities of my business clients. How can I do anything more beyond what they are already doing?” (more…)
Archive for the ‘HITECH’ 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…)
Last week I got the following question:
“By becoming ISO 27001 certified does that automatically mean we comply with HIPAA and HITECH requirements? Are there any requirements of HIPAA/HITECH that are not required to meet ISO 27001 standards?”
This is not the first time I’ve gotten this question, and others similar. As new technology businesses, cloud services and other businesses are popping up to provide services to large regulated organizations, start-ups are increasingly looking for a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and also prove that they have not only effective security controls in place, but that they also (more…)
July 4 Update to Original Post: See additional recent statements from the OCR and the Alaska DHSS about this case here.
Here is a significant sanction, just applied, that all organizations, of all sizes, need to take notice of. Even if you are not in the healthcare industry, this case points out the elements of an information security and privacy program, and the supporting safeguards, which will be used as a model of standard practices to by all types of regulatory oversight agencies. (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…)