Mobile health applications, wearable fitness trackers and even social media sites are creating new privacy risks for health information because the data collected, shared and used falls outside the regulatory scope of HIPAA, says Lucia Savage of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.
The Joint Commission has delayed lifting its ban on clinicians using secure text messaging for patient care orders until it can collaborate with federal regulators to develop additional guidance for deploying the technology.
The federal agency that enforces HIPAA has been very busy lately, taking numerous steps to reiterate the importance of safeguarding patient data and stressing the need to prepare a breach response plan. But the agency still needs to improve transparency on breaches involving business associates.
Oregon Health & Science University says it has been slapped with a $2.7 million fine after HHS investigated two data breaches that affected a total of about 7,000 individuals. It's the eighth HIPAA-related settlement announced by HHS so far this year.
Some healthcare entities may be more likely than organizations in other sectors to pay extortionists to unlock data that's been encrypted in ransomware attacks because patients' lives are potentially at risk if data is unavailable, says security expert Kate Borten, who discusses risk management issues.
An analysis of the record of the U.K.'s new prime minister, Theresa May, on cybersecurity and online privacy and a report on efforts to create an antidote to ransomware highlight this edition of the ISMG Security Report.
Businesses on both sides of the Atlantic are lauding the new U.S.-EU Privacy Shield, which gives them a legal way to handle Europeans' personal data. But privacy rights groups have criticized the agreement for falling short of the EU's own privacy protections.
The Obama administration has unveiled a federal cybersecurity workforce strategy that calls for identifying, recruiting, developing, retaining and expanding "the best, brightest and most diverse cybersecurity talent" for federal service. But are those goals realistic?
The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights has notified 167 covered entities they've been selected for remote "desk audits" of their HIPAA compliance. But the audits will focus on only a handful of requirements.
Pokémon Go - Nintendo's new smartphone app - has been a smash hit. But the game's augmented-reality approach, and app developers' data-handling choices, have triggered security and privacy concerns as well as safety warnings.
The federal tally of major health data breaches shows that to-date in 2016, there have been more reported hacker incidents than during the first half of 2015. However, so far this year, those hacks appear to be affecting fewer individuals.
Forget the 2015 mega-breach, an ongoing FTC probe or multiple class-action lawsuits: A new leadership team wants to reboot infidelity-focused online dating website Ashley Madison, promising that this time they'll get security and privacy right.
Healthcare entities should take several critical steps to minimize the security risks posed by older, legacy medical devices used in their organizations, says medical device cybersecurity expert Kevin Fu.
Members of Congress have sent a letter to federal regulators saying that because ransomware attacks are "different" from other breaches in the healthcare sector, there's a need for new recommendations in upcoming government guidance.
Breach fallout continues to mount in the aftermath of a cyberattack on cloud-based electronic health records vendor Bizmatics, which apparently affected hundreds of thousands of patients. The saga highlights important security lessons for covered entities when it comes to dealing with business associates.