Archives: Coronavirus

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Microsoft Issues Cybersecurity Risk Warning and Offers Help to Hospitals During COVID-19 Crisis

On April 1, 2020, Microsoft issued a specific warning to health care entities alerting them that they are at particular risk during the COVID-19 crisis, as threat actors are using the pandemic to take advantage of vulnerabilities while hospitals are focused on responding to the crisis. According to Microsoft “[D]uring this time of crisis, as … Continue Reading

OCR Issues Additional Guidance on HIPAA for Providers and First Responders on COVID-19 Front Lines

On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued new HIPAA guidance to help providers and first responders in its efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. OCR’s guidance addresses when HIPAA allows disclosures without patient authorization of identifying health information to first responders – such … Continue Reading

Businesses and Trade Groups Seek Delay in CCPA Enforcement Actions

Recently businesses and advertising trade groups wrote a letter to the California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to request delayed enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The letter cited the current health crisis as a result of COVID-19 and a state of national emergency as the … Continue Reading

COVID-19: HHS Issues FAQs on HIPAA and Telehealth to Help Providers Maintain Access to Care During the Pandemic

On March 20, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued additional guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on HIPAA and telehealth services to help providers furnish care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FAQs follow and provide further information on the Notification of Enforcement Discretion issued by HHS on March 17 (Notification), … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #231 – Out of Work Because of Coronavirus? Beware of Scammers Pretending to Be Employers

It is an old trick, and one that scammers are once again using following massive lay-offs after the coronavirus outbreak and mandates to shelter from home. The trick is to impersonate an employer recruiting for jobs, or touting the ability to make lots of money while working from home. As the old adage says, “If … Continue Reading

HHS Issues Confusing Limited Waiver on Sharing of Patient Information Following COVID-19

Acknowledging the “additional challenges” on health care providers following the outbreak of COVID-19, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued several waivers for covered entities to address the need to share patient information after the President declared a national emergency concerning COVID-19. One of the waivers issued by HHS is to “waive … Continue Reading

FERPA and COVID-19 Virus DOE Guidelines

The COVID-19 virus is having an unprecedented effect on all aspects of our daily lives, and has hit the educational system especially hard with forced closures and cancellations.  Because educational institutions play such a vital role in our communities, the Department of Education (DOE) recently issued guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (Guidance) … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #229 – Two RSA Conference Attendees Test Positive for Coronavirus

Our firm is a proud member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), as are those of many of my colleagues in the industry. I attend the IAPP Global Privacy Summit every year, and have done so since (I think) 2004. Yikes. Back in the early days, hundreds of individuals attended the conference in … Continue Reading

Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights Issues Guidance Regarding HIPAA Privacy and Novel Coronavirus

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) last month provided guidance and a reminder to HIPAA covered entities and their business associates regarding the sharing of patient health information (PHI) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule during an outbreak or emergency situation such as what we are all facing right now … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #228 – Coronavirus Scare Is the Perfect Cover for Fraudsters

The coronavirus—or COVID-19—has health care experts scrambling, and has caused global concern for health and well-being due to its rapid spread throughout many countries, including the United States. A scare like this is the perfect opportunity for scammers and fraudsters to prey on well-intentioned people. Unfortunately, during this global health care concern, criminals are using … Continue Reading

Antwork Uses Drones in China to Assist in Transport During Coronavirus Outbreak

Last week, a medical delivery drone flying from the People’s Hospital of Xinchang County to the disease control center there successfully completed the air transport of needed medical quarantine supplies and patient samples in the coronavirus outbreak. This is the first launch of Antwork’s “urban air transportation channel” to help fight the coronavirus outbreak in … Continue Reading

HHS Issues Timely Reminder of Applicability of HIPAA to Outbreak Situations

On February 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin (the Bulletin) to remind covered entities and business associates of how patient information may be shared under HIPAA in the event of an emergency, such as an outbreak of infectious disease. The Bulletin was issued in response to the … Continue Reading

Cyber Criminals Using Coronavirus Concern to Assist with Intrusions

Concern over the spreading coronavirus from China is legitimate and real. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus a global health emergency, and the United States and other countries are limiting travel of individuals from the affected areas in China. As we have seen with other public concerns, cyber criminals and threat actors … Continue Reading
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