HHS Task Group Releases Cybersecurity Guidelines for the Health Care Industry

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Health care is one of the most complex and socially impactful areas of digitalization. Ensuring cybersecurity of health care operations, therefore, is of paramount importance – because potential vulnerabilities may lead not only to financial or technical exposures, but to lapses in life-or-death situations for patients.

To assist practitioners with education and guidelines, and in pursuance of Cybersecurity Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-113), Section 405(d), the Department of Health and Human Services created a “405(d) Task Group” in May 2017, involving, more than 150 health care and cybersecurity experts. The result of their collaborative work became a voluntary guideline entitled “Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices: Managing Threats and Protecting Patients,” which was released at the end of 2018.

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House Committee Staff Report Finds Equifax Data Breach Entirely Preventable, Provides Recommendations for Consumer Reporting Agencies

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After a 14-month investigation into the 2017 Equifax data breach, which was one the largest in U.S. history, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report in December.

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EU-US Privacy Shield Second Review: Improvements Shown, but More to be Done

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The EU Commission published its second annual review of the functioning of the EU-US Privacy Shield, which focused on the commercial issues, human resources and data automated individual decision-making and developments in the U.S. legal framework.  This report follows the same general structure as the report on the first annual EU-US Privacy Shield review that we reported on last year.

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California AG to Hold Public Forums on CCPA

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The California Attorney General invites interested persons to provide comments on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) rulemaking at a series of six public forums around the state in January and February 2019. The first forum is slated for January 8 in San Francisco.

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$500,000 Settlement for Failure to Comply with Basic HIPAA Compliance Requirements

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Advanced Care Hospitalists PL (ACH) and the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OCR) entered into a $500,000 no-fault settlement and two year corrective action plan (CAP) to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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FCC Adopts Order Creating a Centralized Reassigned Number Database, Which Could Address Some Robocall Concerns

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After several requests for comment, the FCC has approved its earlier proposal to create a centralized, comprehensive reassigned telephone numbers database, a resource which many have felt has been lacking. Ideally, the proposed database will be an effective tool to assist businesses in identifying numbers that have been recycled, thus helping to cut down on unwanted or mistaken phone calls received by consumers. This blog outlines the framework of the FCC’s new  database, including access, administration, types of information collected, usage, and potential costs and benefits.  

One of the most persistent complaints by consumers to the FCC is about receiving uninvited “robocalls.”  Generally speaking, these may be phone calls or texts to wireless phones or home phones that may be telemarketing or informational calls from health providers, financial services providers, schools or retailers.  The FCC is the federal agency responsible for implementation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which contains opt in consent requirements for telemarketing and some types of informational calls which are heightened if the call is made to a wireless phone.  Even when consumers have provided the requisite consent to receive “robocalls” calls from businesses it is not uncommon for consumers to terminate phone service, moving to a new service provider and getting a new phone number.

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