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SOS Answered: New Guidance on HIPAA for App Developers

Amidst criticism that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) lags behind technological innovation, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released new guidance to aid app developers in determining how HIPAA may apply to the products they are building and developing. OCR explained that the guidance is intended to ...

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Dialing in on Health Care Delivery Through Telemedicine

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, millions of newly insured patients have entered the health care market, bringing attention to the need for expanded access to services. Meanwhile, rapid advancements in the use of high-speed data transmission have paved the way toward using Internet technology to alleviate this problem, while ...

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Ask the Health Law Gurus™: What Is a Civil Monetary Penalty and How Is It Different from an OCR Settlement?

The Health Law Gurus™ are here to help you stay current on issues and breaking news in health law. To help you stay up-to-date, we are excited to announce our new segment, “Ask the Health Law Gurus™.” Each month, we will select a reader’s question and answer it here, on the Health Law Gurus™ blog. In response to our last blog post,...

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Historic Moment: Husband Reports Wife’s HIPAA Violation Triggering Six Figure Penalty Against Employer

  For the second time in history, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has imposed a civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) against a covered entity for violations of the Health Insurance and Portability Act (“HIPAA”). Lincare, Inc., a provider of respiratory care, infusion therapy, and medical equipment to in-home patients, is required to pay...

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False Claims about Encryption Cost an Arm, a Leg, and a Tooth

  Earlier this month, Henry Schein Practice Solutions, Inc. (“Schein”), a provider of office management software to dental practices, learned the hard way that exaggerating the capabilities of its products can be very costly. On January 5, 2016, Schein agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) $250,000 to settle claims that...

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Traveling for Medical Care — The Increasing Popularity of Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is the term used to describe the movement of patients across international borders in pursuit of medical care and treatment. While in the United States the term is usually associated with Americans leaving the country in search of low-cost treatments — particularly cosmetic surgery, dental care, fertility treatments, and heart s...

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Are Wearable Devices a Privacy Nightmare?

  Wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smart watches, have taken the United States technology industry by storm. In the past three years, there has been a 500% increase in the number of fitness bands and activity trackers sold. The research firm Market and Market predicts that the industry will continue to grow at unprecedented rates an...

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Government Opposes Health Care Merger Between Penn State Hershey and PinnacleHealth Citing Potential for Reduced Competition and Increased Prices

This week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General (“Attorney General”) publicly opposed the anticipated merger between Penn State Hershey Medical Center (“Penn State Hershey”) and PinnacleHealth System (“PinnacleHealth”). This partnership would be one of the biggest health care mer...

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High Cost of HIPAA Violations Demonstrated in $3.5 Million Settlement

Triple-S Management Corporation (“Triple-S”), on behalf of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Triple-S Salud, Inc., Triple-C, Inc., and Triple-S Advantage, Inc., has agreed to pay $3.5 million as part of a Resolution Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) (“Resolution Agreement”). The Res...

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Hospital’s Turkey Dinner Is $850,000 Fine for Failure to Secure Mobile Medical Devices

Just before Thanksgiving, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (“Lahey”), a non-profit teaching hospital located in Burlington, Massachusetts, agreed to pay $850,000 for a breach of unsecured electronic protected health information (“ePHI”). Lahey will also be required to implement a corrective action plan. The breach occurred in 2011 whe...

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