Tag Archives: Personal Health Information (PHI)

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 …


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 …


The Past, Present, and Future of Electronic Health Records Regulations

It’s an understatement to say that the invention of the Internet has been one of the most important developments in history. With the advent of this revolutionary technology, individuals are no longer limited in their citizenship – i.e., just members of a village, town, city, or country. Rather, they can choose to be a part of a worldwide cyber-community. This global interconnectivity allows us to communicate with our friends, family, and colleagues across the globe in milliseconds. It propels business growth and development throughout the world, and it has even served as the catalyst for sweeping political change. However, along …