Privacy

Healthcare providers are not liable for workers who breach patient privacy 'outside scope of employment,' court rules in STD case

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Long-term care providers may not be on the hook when workers improperly share resident data for purely personal reasons, suggests a recent legal ruling.

The year of the opinion

The year of the opinion

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If 2013 was anything, and I'm not convinced it was, it was the year of strong opinions — even in long-term care. The fact that they were often biased, self-serving or blissfully fact-free seemed to make no difference. From our nation's finest politicians right down to me, from my damp hole under the porch, we were willing to state our personal beliefs loudly, boldly, publicly, without question or doubt, as absolute truth. Or at least that's my opinion.

Roommate dispute turns deadly at New York nursing home

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A dispute about privacy appears to have led a nursing home resident to kill his roommate with a wheelchair leg rest, according to authorities in New York City.

Cameras in nursing homes? Better get used to them

Cameras in nursing homes? Better get used to them

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Street cameras played a major role in identifying the two brothers who allegedly bombed the Boston Marathon. In the wake of this helpful development, public support is growing for expanded use of cameras in high-congestion areas.

Webcast will focus on new HIPAA rulemaking, enforcement trends

Providers and officers in charge of HIPAA compliance can take part in a valuable 90-minute webcast Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The webinar will address the progression of changes to HIPAA, particularly leading up to the January issuance of a final rule pertaining to privacy, security and enforcement provisions. Attendees will learn about the results of compliance audits, recent findings on data breaches and assessed penalties, and trends in hacking activity.

Feds ask for mental health clarifications in light of HIPAA rules

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The federal government is asking how changes for HIPAA rules might impact states reporting information about patients' mental health conditions, and whether they should be allowed to purchase a gun.

Keeping seniors independent and safe

Keeping seniors independent and safe

Long-term care facilities face a variety of safety and caregiver workflow challenges. Families struggle to ensure the independence of their loved ones in order to maintain that person's dignity. Busy staff must ensure safety given that acuity level varies by resident. By locating seniors in real-time using RFID technology, community directors can offer assistance while protecting resident privacy, mobility and independence.

Ask the legal expert ... how to deal with someone leaking information

Ask the legal expert ... how to deal with someone leaking information

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Someone leaked sensitive patient information to the press after we had a recent fire here. What steps can/should we take to investigate or determine who the leak was?

Enforcement of privacy rules now delayed until March 31

Enforcement of privacy rules now delayed until March 31

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has pushed back enforcement of two electronic healthcare transaction rules by three months, the agency announced in January. That gives providers until March 31.

Long-term care providers can share resident info for safety reasons without breaching HIPAA

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Healthcare providers do not violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy regulations if they share patient information in the interest of public safety, according to a letter sent last week by Leon Rodriguez, the director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Omnibus HIPAA rule lays out 'sweeping changes'

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The Department of Health and Human Services issued an "omnibus" rule Thursday, comprehensively updating Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy and security regulations passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

HHS withdraws health record breach notification rule from review

The Department of Health and Human Services has temporarily withdrawn a final rule requiring certain healthcare facilities to notify patients when there is a breach of the privacy of their "unsecured" health information.

Temporary reprieve from 'red flags' rule could be on horizon for healthcare providers

An agreement to exempt healthcare providers from the federal "red flags" privacy rule could be forthcoming, according to a recent report from the Bureau of National Affairs.

Newspaper letters shed light on people's opinions about long-term care during the Depression

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Old people should live alone. At least, that was the general thinking back in the 1930s.

Medicare database could hold key to spending reductions, but privacy issues raise concerns

Mining Medicare's database for information comparing individual doctors' spending practices could help significantly reduce healthcare spending, according to a recent report.

HIPAA-covered healthcare providers must notify individuals of information breaches under new rule

HIPAA-covered healthcare providers must notify individuals of information breaches under new rule

The Department of Health and Human Services has released an interim rule regarding healthcare information privacy breaches.

State privacy laws could be slowing electronic medical record adoption

The call for widespread adoption of electronic medical records has prompted some states to pass stringent privacy laws to protect their residents against fraud or identity theft. But a new analysis finds these laws seem to significantly diminish the effectiveness of the new technology.

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