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Misdelivered Email Results in a HIPAA Data Breach

June 14, 2018

A common scenario in email security breaches is seen when a billing service sends a bill to an incorrect email address. In most practice arrangements, a third-party billing company will have signed a business associate agreement. According to HIPAA, business associates must inform covered entities when they discover a security breach; however, HHS gives covered entities and business associates flexibility in defining, in the business associate agreements, how and when a business associate should notify the covered entity of a potential breach.1 Consider the following case. (Please note that the following case focuses on the clinic’s responsibility to analyze the risk and perform the breach notification, even though the breach was caused by a business entity.)

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Filed under: Digital Practice, HIPAA Privacy & Confidentiality, Cybersecurity, Case Study, Practice Manager, Information Security

Case Study Comparison: HIPAA Data Breaches and PHI on Stolen Laptops

June 14, 2018

According to HHS data, more than a third of all data breaches reported through 2017 involved a laptop, desktop, or mobile device.1 Compare Cases One and Two, and consider how better security practices protected the covered entity in Case Two.

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Filed under: Digital Practice, HIPAA Privacy & Confidentiality, Cybersecurity, Case Study, Practice Manager, Information Security

Employee Voyeurism Leads to a HIPAA Data Breach

June 14, 2018

Employees access PHI for various illegitimate reasons. Including error and misuse, 71% of all cyber incidents in healthcare have an insider source1— the only industry that has more internal sources than external. Although the following case study involves only one patient, the covered entity was required to complete a data breach analysis and notify the patient and HHS.

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Filed under: Digital Practice, HIPAA Privacy & Confidentiality, Cybersecurity, Case Study, Practice Manager, Information Security

Unsecured PHI on a Lost Flash Drive Results in a HIPAA Data Breach

June 14, 2018

A data breach doesn’t need to be criminal or intentional to be reportable. When a storage device is small, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether the device was lost, misplaced or stolen. However, even if a flash drive is presumably lost, a breach analysis must still be conducted and potentially affected patients must be notified if there is a probability of data compromise.

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Filed under: Digital Practice, HIPAA Privacy & Confidentiality, Cybersecurity, Case Study, Practice Manager, Information Security

Pain Management vs. Treating the Underlying Causes of Pain

January 19, 2018

According to the defense expert in the following case, patients who can’t or won’t engage in alternative treatments for their pain should not be prescribed pain medications as a matter of course. Consider how the overdose in the following case could have been prevented if the internist had followed the CDC guidelines for prescribing opioids.

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Filed under: Pain Management, Prescribing & Medication, Case Study, Practice Manager, Physician, Opioids
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