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Data Security Concerns Continue in 2018 – Survey Provides New Insight

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A vast majority of companies report feeling vulnerable to data breaches and security threats, according to a recent report published by a data security provider and information technology advisory company. It is predicted that companies are planning on spending more than ever before to protect themselves in 2018.

The report, published by Thales eSecurity and 451 Research, summarizes the surveyed responses of more than 1,200 senior security executives employed in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands, Korea, and India. Of these respondents, more than one-third had major influence on security-decision making, and nearly half had sole-decision making authority.

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Recent OCR Action Provides HIPAA Guidance Related to Opioid Crisis and Privacy Rule in Research

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released several new tools and guidance to ensure that patients and their family members can gain access to information needed to prevent and address opioid abuse and overdose, as well as mental health crises. The materials are focused on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and also serve to fulfill certain clarification requirements on HIPAA and research under the 21st Century Cures Act (the “Cures Act”).  The Cures Act was passed by Congress in 2016 and requires, in part, that “health care providers, professionals, patients and their families, and others involved in mental [health] or substance use disorder treatment have adequate, accessible, and easily comprehensible resources relating to appropriate uses and disclosures of protected health information (PHI) under . . . [HIPAA].”

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