On Dec. 7, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced a settlement with a Louisiana medical group specializing in emergency medicine, occupational medicine, and laboratory testing. The settlement resolves an investigation following a phishing attack that affected the electronic protected health information (PHI) of approximately 34,862 individuals. This marks the first settlement OCR has resolved involving a phishing attack under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Rules. Additionally, this settlement comes just a handful of weeks after OCR announced a settlement with a Massachusetts medical management company in connection with a large breach report regarding a ransomware attack that affected the PHI of 206,695 individuals – becoming the first ransomware agreement OCR has reached as well.Continue Reading OCR Doubles Down: Two Settlements in Two Months for Two Common Cybersecurity Issues

The EU is gearing up for massive reform concerning the use and accessibility of health data, and Germany is taking note. Recently, Germany proposed several draft legislation focusing on the use of health data. The Health Data Use Act, (Gesundheitsdatennutzungsgesetz, (GDNG)); The Digital Act, and A Law to Promote the Quality of Inpatient Care through Transparency (Hospital Transparency Act) are just a few of the newest pieces of proposed legislation designed to improve the use and accessibility of health data for German citizens. This move by the German Federal Ministry of Health is part of an EU-wide reform effort under the European Commission’s (“Commission”) European Health Data Space (EHDS).

Germany’s new legislation is designed to align with EHDS principles and these laws not only impact healthcare providers and hospitals in Germany but also companies that collect the health data of German residents. Below are the main takeaways of these proposed laws and what U.S. companies can expect moving forward.Continue Reading Germany’s Gearing up for European Health Data Space (EHDS) Compliance