Author Archives: Shanti Braford

Ohio Justices to Determine whether State Law Trumps HIPAA

Here’s an interesting twist on the old federal vs. state jurisdictional dispute. First Amendment Center is reporting: COLUMBUS, Ohio — A newspaper wants to report on homes, many of them rented, where lead paint has harmed children. The city health department fears federal fines and penalties if it complies with the state’s open-records law. In…

HIPAA Wi-Fi Guidelines

Jeff over at HIPAA Blog has some Wi-Fi and HIPAA Integration guidelines, courtesy of Hospital Compliance Wire: 1. Make sure the wi-fi access for your patients is separate from your clinical information systems. It should operate as if the wi-fi access route was operated by the business next door. Remember, even if your clinical systems…

Uninsured Billing Class Action Suit (Christian Health, Dallas, etc)

A strong statement on the Uninsured Billing Class Action Suits: a Federal judge in Beaumont, Texas threw out one of the suits (not a Scruggs suit, though) with a strong, strong statement. As stated in Modern Healthcare’s daily emails: “A judge dismissed a federal lawsuit over uninsured-patient billing against Christus Health, Dallas, and related organizations,…

Scary: Worm Writers Have Turned Pro

Just came across an alarming article about how spyware / wormware writers are using professional software development methods to craft Internet worms. Gregg Keizer reports: A pair of research reports have explored the long-running Bagle worm and laid out a chronology that points to a professional developer who, like counterparts in the commercial software world,…

St. Joseph Hospital Medical Records Stolen?

The privacy spot reports: According to the Houston Chronicle, Christus St. Joseph Hospital sent approximately 16,000 letters to patients informing them that a computer stolen in a burglary earlier this year may have contained some of their medical records and Social Security numbers. According to the hospital letters, the only patient files affected, to their…

IBM and Accenture Buy Health Care Firms

Just catching up on a bit of HIPAA / Healthcare / Privacy news of late. Seems IBM announced that it was acquiring Healthlink, the largest U.S. consulting firm dedicated to the health-care industry. Rochelle Garner of CRN reports: IBM announced Tuesday that it will buy Healthlink, the largest U.S. consulting firm dedicated to the health-care…

New Linux HIPAA Software by Ecora

A Linux news site is reporting: Ecora has released Enterprise Auditor version 3.6 that includes its new HIPAA Report Pack, a collection of more than 150 pre-built report definitions that address the technical and administrative safeguards of the HIPAA security standard. “The manual process of preparing for a HIPAA security audit is time consuming, resource…

The Safe ID Act

Looks like Senator Clinton and Congressman Markey have introduced federal legislation to prevent offshore outsourcing of personal data: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Representative Edward J. Markey announced that they would introduce the Safeguarding Americans from Exporting Identification Data (SAFE ID) Act in the United States Senate and House today, legislation that would protect the…

Ameritrade Loses Customer Data

Brokerage company Ameritrade is warning 200,000 former and current customers about the loss of a backup tape containing sensitive personal information. Jim Wagner of Internet News reports: The company discovered the loss in February when it received a damaged package containing a number of backup tapes shipped from its secure facilities in the U.S. Katrina…

HIPAA Deadline Passes with Little Fanfare

Well, the deadline to complete the security requirements of HIPAA passed yesterday with little fanfare. Internet News has the scoop “Considering everything that is involved with compliance, there are a lot of factors as to why some companies may not have completed it,” Earl Crane, a senior consultant with Foundstone Professional Services, said. Foundstone, a…

DHHS Publishes Proposed HIPAA Enforcement Rule

On April 18, 2005, the Federal Register published the proposed rule regarding enforcement of the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Rule. Comments on the proposed rule will be considered by the Department of Health and Human Services if received no later than June 17, 2005.

HIV Victim’s Suit Against Newspaper Continues

The Houston Chronicle is reporting: DALLAS — A state district court judge rejected a bid by an alternative weekly newspaper to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a church volunteer who said the paper reported without his permission that he was HIV-positive. The ruling Wednesday could clear the way for a trial. The judge did not…

Here Comes the Sarbanes-Oxley Backlash

The NY Times has a piece on rising corporate backlash over Sarbanes-Oxley: Last week, business representatives gathered in Washington at an all-day roundtable discussion held by federal regulators and complained about the cost of complying with a provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform law. Not one business leader asked to repeal the law, which was…

More HIPAA Violations & Private Data Theft News

Techweb reports: Enforcement of the security regulations–like earlier HIPAA rules for privacy–will be complaint-driven, he says. Since the HIPAA privacy regulations, which identify what personal health information needs to be protected, took effect two years ago this month, there have been nearly 11,000 complaints filed to the federal government by patients and others. As of…

Doctors and Email

From the Chicago Tribune: “Despite advancing technology, medical practices have proven remarkably resistant to embracing e-mail as a tool to correspond with patients.” Jeff of the other HIPAA Blog says: It makes some sense, since doctors may be slightly more resistant than other professionals to any change from the way they’ve done things in the…