Entries by Natalie Tomeh

Massachusetts Settlement for Impermissible Use

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens. University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Group Inc. and Memorial Medical Center Inc. each face investigation by the Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.   Large Scale Privacy Breach by Employees Between the two different breaches, the personal and protected health information (PHI) of over […]

Is it Impermissible to Disclose a Risk to Public Safety?

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.  If a mental heath patient poses a risk to the safety of themselves or the public, is it impermissible for their doctor to disclose the information? Does it matter to whom they disclose it?   A Potential Threat Dr. Richard Kaye, a psychiatrist, […]

ABC Documentary Leads to Settlement

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.  ABC’s 2015 documentary series, “Save My Life: Boston Trauma”, resulted in the investigation of three prestigious Boston teaching hospitals. Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Boston Medical Center were accused of compromising patient privacy by allowing television crews to film inside […]

Inaccurate Detection of Impermissible Use

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.    Inaccurate Detection Hurt Everyone The Consort and District Medical Centre Society in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada risked its reputation, money, and workers’ time by inaccurately detecting impermissible use of protected health information (PHI). An east-central Alberta woman bore the brunt of the […]

Employee Snooping: Personal, Professional, Criminal

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.  It’s Personal Back in 2008, Dr. Joshua Welch had an affair with a woman, “Anne”. After informing him she may have contracted an STI, Anne suspected that Dr. Welch had snooped in her medical records. Anne requested an audit. The resulting investigation found […]

The Power in Your Pocket… To Steal PHI

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.  Bournemouth, UK Eight Months of Photos of PHI Daniel Storr is under investigation for bribing former coworker, Aden Embling. In return, Embling sent Storr photos of individuals’ protected health information (PHI). Storr and Embling worked together at Health Online, a private health insurance […]

States’ Attorneys General Enforce HIPAA

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.  Since a precedent set by US District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras in June, HIPAA enforcement has been limited to the Department of Health and Human Services and the states’ attorneys general. A recent case involving a HIPAA violation by a New York nonprofit shows […]

A Look Back: $4.1 Million Settlement

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.   Background 20,000 people visited the Stanford Hospital emergency room between March 1st, 2009 and August 21st, 2009. Each one of them had their protected health information (PHI) publicly visible for over a year. Exposed information included medical record numbers, hospital account numbers, billing charges, and emergency room […]

A Different Kind Of Identity Fraud

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.   Medical Malpractice With a Twist  Manquis Daniels died in June 2011 after undergoing heart surgery. His surviving wife is suing the hospital. Marie Daniels, Manqui’s wife, said her husband recovered well from the surgery. She claims a nurse gave him an injection […]

Publicity Puts Patients at Higher Risk for Privacy Breaches

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens. Mass Overdose Victims In March 2011, eleven teens and young adults were hospitalized in Minnesota due to an overdose of the synthetic drug 2C-E. There was one death. Predictably, this incident received a flurry of publicity. Unfortunately, highly public patients are at a […]

Unprotected Tragedy

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.   A Family’s Tragedy After the gate at a public swimming pool was accidentally left open, Denise and Wayne Russell’s adopted son, Keon, wandered into the water and drowned. He was rushed to McAlester Regional Health Center. There he died at two years […]

Less Than a Third of Healthcare Organizations are Insured

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens. Running A Real Risk Only 30% of healthcare organizations have cybersecurity insurance, according to a 2018 survey by Ovum for FICO. In comparison, 76% of all U.S. firms involved in the survey reported having cybersecurity insurance (a). This is dangerous for healthcare organizations. Breaches can cost […]

A Brief History of EHR

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.   Electronic health records (EHR) are essentially the digital version of what’s on the clipboard at the end of a hospital bed. Now, entire EHR systems are being bought up, expanded, and incorporated into artificial intelligence by big tech companies. Protecting patient information […]

The 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study: A Global Overview

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.   Overview In July, the Ponemon Institute released The 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study: A Global Overview. The study highlights the magnitude of the challenge organizations face protecting private information. Health care providers, who work exclusively with private information, should take particular care. Globally, […]

Canadian Digital Privacy Act Raises Stakes

Veriphyr reports impermissible use of patient data the first time it happens. Digital Privacy Act Recently, Canada added an amendment to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The Digital Privacy Act creates new, stricter obligations for record-keeping, reporting, and notification of data breaches. The Act places emphasis on putting data into context to […]

Anthem Pays $115 Million Settlement

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.   Superlative Settlement On August 16th, Anthem Inc. signed the check for the $115 million settlement of the class action lawsuit against them for their 2015 data breach (a). Lawyers say this is likely the largest settlement ever (b). A large settlement appears […]

Veriphyr’s Survey of Patient Privacy Breaches

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.   Employees are the Leading Source of Breaches  In 2011, Veriphyr published the results of a survey on Protected Health Information (PHI)  privacy breaches. According to the findings, over 70 percent of the organizations studied had suffered one or more breaches of PHI in […]