Latest News

3 Feb, 2015

Why you shouldn’t view your spouse’s PHI (and share with a coworker).

2018-04-23T23:57:54-05:00February 3rd, 2015|Health Care Law, HIPAA, HITECH, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Risk Management|

Recently, a federal court judge dismissed a lawsuit that an Ohio woman filed claiming that a hospital did not safeguard her EMR (electronic medical records). In an interesting twist, the woman alleged that her husband, who worked at the hospital, was able to access her EMR and share them with a co-worker.  This was not just any co-worker.  Allegedly, it was a co-worker with whom the husband was having an [...]

30 Dec, 2014

It’s HIPAA time!

2018-04-23T23:57:55-05:00December 30th, 2014|Disciplinary Actions, HIPAA, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Risk Management|

I thought I'd spend the next few blogs discussing the joy that is HIPAA compliance.  Previously, I blogged about two NMC employees who had been fired after viewing the protected health information of Dr. Richard Sacra, one of the patients treated at the NMC for ebola.  The potential fines and penalties that come with a HIPAA violation likely played a large role in these firings. But let's start from the very [...]

23 Dec, 2014

Selfies are fun (unless you are performing surgery)!

2018-04-23T23:57:55-05:00December 23rd, 2014|Disciplinary Actions, Health Care Law, HIPAA, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor|

Let's be honest.  Selfies are fun.  They are great ways of capturing the moment.  Like my daughter and I on the merry-go-round at FunPlex this summer.  Selfies can also get you in lots of trouble. I can honestly say I have  never had a doctor or other health care provider ask whether taking a selfie during surgery is a good idea.  It's not.  As some doctors in China recently discovered. [...]

10 Dec, 2014

Black box to be used to record surgery?

2018-04-23T23:57:55-05:00December 10th, 2014|Health Care Law, HIPAA, Litigation Tips, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Nebraska Hospital-Medical Liability Act, Risk Management|

Surgeons: how would you like every move of the surgeries you perform recorded with a “black box” type device?  Such a device would make a record of every movement during a surgery, and potentially, provide real-time feedback to identify mistakes.  Not only would it record the surgery itself, it could record every word uttered by the medical team during a surgery. The potential and hopeful benefits include improved results and reduced [...]

22 Jul, 2014

John Hopkins to pay $190 million for spying doctor.

2018-04-23T23:57:55-05:00July 22nd, 2014|Health Care Law, HIPAA, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Risk Management|

A recent report by CNN indicates that John Hopkins has agreed to a whooping $190 million settlement in a case involving a gynecologist who was alleged to have secretly photographed and recorded his more than 7000 patients. Dr. Nikita Levy was fired in February 2013 after the Baltimore based health care system discovered he had been using a pen-like camera around his neck to snap photographs of patients.  A diligent co-worker suspected [...]

27 Mar, 2014

He said she said he heard it from a friend….

2018-04-23T23:57:55-05:00March 27th, 2014|Health Care Law, HIPAA, Litigation Tips, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor|

REO Speedwagon might have been discussing the Nebraska Supreme Court's recent opinion in C.E. v. Prairie Fields Family Medicine, P.C., 287 Neb. 667 (2014) in their famous song, "Take it on the Run." The Prairie Fields case dealt with the issue of whether a patient could sue a medical provider for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress for the alleged unauthorized disclosure of that patient's testing positive for HIV. In [...]

13 Aug, 2013

Risks of Social Media in Medicine

2018-04-24T00:10:06-05:00August 13th, 2013|Disciplinary Actions, Health Care Law, HIPAA, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Risk Management|

A twenty-year-old nursing student had finally realized her dream and was caring for patients on her pediatric oncology rotation.  She fell in love with the courage of her young patients.  One patient, in particular, captured her heart.  She took a picture of the three-year-old boy grinning from ear-to-ear despite his chemotherapy.  When she posted the picture to her Facebook page, she put the following caption: "This is my 3-year-old leukemia [...]

29 Jul, 2013

The Threat of HIPAA Penalities

2018-04-23T23:57:56-05:00July 29th, 2013|Health Care Law, HIPAA, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Risk Management|

Does inadvertent disclosure of protected health information keep you up at night?  It should.  Unlawful disclosure, or allowing unauthorized access to protected health information, case be costly. Since 2009, 65,000 breach reports, where protected health information is exposed or wrongfully accessed, have been filed with Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights.  The vast majority of these breaches do not lead to any type of formal enforcement action.  But the Office of [...]

26 Mar, 2013

Expanding Physician-Patient Confidentiality

2018-04-23T23:52:20-05:00March 26th, 2013|HIPAA, Litigation Tips, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Risk Management|

On December 20, 2012, the Florida Supreme Court expanded the already far reaching scope of doctor-patient confidentiality.  In the case of Hasan v. Garvar, 2012 WL 6619334 (Fla.), a patient sued a dentist (referred to as Dentist #1 for purposes of this post) after the dentist failed to diagnose and treat a dental condition resulting in a bone infection. The patient subsequently sought treatment from a second dentist.  (Dentist #2).  Dentist [...]

5 Feb, 2013

Stolen Laptop Costs Idaho Hospice $50,000

2018-04-24T00:10:06-05:00February 5th, 2013|Health Care Law, HIPAA, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor|

Last month the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a first-of-its-kind settlement involving a breach of unsecured electronic protected health information.  The Hospice of North Idaho agreed to pay HHS $50,000 to settle potential violations of the HIPAA security rule.  The case arose when the hospice reported to HHS that an unencrypted laptop computer containing the electronic protected health information of 441 patients had been stolen.  During its investigation, [...]

18 Jan, 2013

HHS Releases Final HIPAA Omnibus Rule

2018-04-24T00:10:07-05:00January 18th, 2013|Health Care Law, HIPAA, HITECH, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor|

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services yesterday unveiled long awaited changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA").  The release is comprised of four final rules combined into a single omnibus rule designed to reduce the impact and number of times certain compliance activities need to be undertaken by regulated entities.  Important provisions include: An expansion of HIPAA's scope to apply many HIPAA provisions [...]