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September 26, 2019

Large, high profile data breaches involving consumer information have been part of the news cycle for a decade and more.  Everything from the world’s largest companies to government agencies and local businesses have been victims of hacks, employee misconduct, and accidental disclosures.  Legislatures are responding.  The SHIELD Act is New York’s latest response.

In 2005, New York passed the Information Security Breach and Notification Act.  The SHIELD Act amends the 2005 law, modernizing and expanding upon it.  The SHIELD Act takes effect in two parts.  The first part, concerning data breach notification, takes effect October 23, 2019, and the second part, concerning data security,...

February 27, 2018

        Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced a $3.5 million HIPAA settlement with Fresenius Medical Care North America (“Fresenius”), a company which focuses on delivering care to patients with renal and other chronic conditions. Fresenius provides centralized support to a network of Fresenius Covered Entities (“Fresenius Facilities”).

        In 2013, Fresenius reported five separate breaches which occurred in between February 2012 and June 2012. All five breaches were the result of lost or stolen devices and ePHI not being encrypted. Device theft and unencrypted data are two of the biggest causes of...

February 2, 2018

     On January 24, 2018, the New York State Department of Labor (“DOL”) extended until April 4, 2018 the Emergency Rule(1) amending the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations as it relates to hours of work for live-in home care workers. No changes were made to the Emergency Rule aside from the extension.

     The Emergency Rule, which was initially issued on October 25, 2017 and expired on January 3, 2018, codified and reaffirmed the DOL’s long-standing position that employers are not required to compensate live-in home care workers who work shifts of 24 hours or more for meal periods and sleep time if such an agreement exists, whether impli...

September 27, 2017

           In September, 2017, New York Governor Cuomo signed into law new legislation (Chapter 322 of the Laws of 2017) that now specifically prohibits health care providers and facilities from charging patients for providing, releasing, or delivering patient information, or copies of patient information, in cases where such records are needed “for the purpose of supporting an application, claim or appeal for any government benefit or program.”  Additionally, in cases where a provider maintains patient information in electronic form, the provider shall provide the copy in either electronic or paper form, as required by the government benefit or progra...

September 14, 2017

          A recent decision out of the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, highlights the ongoing efforts of plaintiffs’ attorneys in New York to obtain nursing homes’ confidential records. When there is an incident at a nursing home, nursing homes often generate various incident reports and other quality assurance documentation regardless of whether there is any negligence or wrongdoing on behalf of the nursing home and its personnel. The purpose of this documentation is to permit review of nursing home practices and personnel and improve the quality of care at the nursing home.

          Plaintiffs’ attorneys, for obvious reasons, are eager to obtain qu...

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