Author Archives: Lisa Thompson

Lisa Thompson

About: Lisa Thompson

Lisa Thompson focuses on corporate law, regulatory law and administrative appeals. She is an arbitrator and mediator as well as a frequent author and lecturer. Lisa has advised companies, their senior management and boards of directors on a broad range of matters across a number of industry sectors, including manufacturing and distribution, software and technology, healthcare, life sciences, biotechnology, and agricultural products industries.

Clearing Up Confusion Over the Modified HIPAA Privacy Rule

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which will go into effect on February 5, 2016. HHS published the final rule in tandem with President Obama’s recently announced executive actions to reduce gun violence. The final rule expressly permits certain covered entities under HIPAA to disclose limited demographic and other information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), or to an entity that is designated by the State to report to the NICS (or which collects information for this reporting). The covered entities are …

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HIPAA and Text Messaging

Text messaging is pervasive.  Doctors and other health care providers, covered entities, and business associates currently use (and embrace) the technology.  Texting is easy, fast and efficient.  It doesn’t require a laptop and can operate even where wireless signals are low.  It doesn’t require you to scroll through your email inbox or retrieve your voicemail. All of this convenience is coupled with compromise, leading to security risks that can be difficult to manage. There is the obvious risk of unauthorized access to protected health information.  For example, unless preventive measures are employed: anyone with access to the mobile device will …

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A Year in Review: Key HIPAA Settlement Agreements by HHS’s Office for Civil Rights

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights had another busy year in 2014. More resolution agreements were signed by HHS and Covered Entities than in the previous year, and several Covered Entities agreed to pay significant amounts to resolve investigations. Below is a brief summary of the most notable enforcement actions. In March 2014, OCR settled alleged HIPAA violations by Skagit County, Washington, home to approximately 118,000 residents. The County agreed, among other things, to pay a $215,000 monetary settlement. According to OCR, the electronic protected health information of 1,581 people was accessed by unknown …

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