HHS Office for Civil Rights Releases Webinar on Recognized Security Practices: Provides Guidance on Mitigating Potential Violations of HIPAA

Pursuant to legislation passed in 2021, covered entities and business associates subject to HIPAA and facing potential regulatory enforcement may receive some credit lessening to reduce enforcement penalties if they had implemented Recognized Security Practices (RSPs) within the prior 12 months.  However, what may constitute RSPs and how a covered entity or business associate can demonstrate implementation of RSPs to receive such credit had not been clear.  Now, the Department of Health and Human Services is seeking to provide clarity. (more…)

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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: FDA’s Final Guidance on Clinical Decision Software Raises More Questions Than Answers

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a suite of guidance documents relating to software, automation, and artificial intelligence. One guidance document in particular, addressing clinical decision support (CDS) software, may signal a tightening in FDA’s oversight on software tools with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) that could introduce confusion and frustrate innovation in this important, fast-developing area. On October 18, 2022, FDA held a webinar to provide additional clarifications on this final guidance.

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Digital Health Industry Take Note: New HIPAA Comment Opportunity and Guidance Addresses Growing Risk of Cybersecurity Attacks

Digital health companies should take note of new data privacy and security developments under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that can affect product planning and customer negotiations.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released a request for information (RFI) seeking input on (1) how covered entities implement recognized security practices, which OCR considers in enforcement matters and (2) the different types of harm that individuals experience from HIPAA violations in order to consider how OCR may share enforcement recoveries with individuals harmed. Digital health companies subject to HIPAA should consider submitting comments by the June deadline to ensure that the evolving digital health industry has a voice in establishing industry best practices and advocating for continued flexibility in the implementation of security standards that suit their unique business needs distinct from traditional covered entities and business associates. (more…)

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EU Data Governance Act – Edging Closer to a European Single Market for Data

On 6 April 2022, the European Parliament formally approved the Data Governance Act (“DGA”), which establishes a legal framework to promote the availability of data and increase trust in data sharing across sectors in the EU. Some of the key objectives of the new legislation include enabling the re-use of certain categories of protected public sector data and making it easier and safer for citizens and businesses to share their data with relevant stakeholders. (more…)

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Developments in Health Privacy and Cybersecurity Policy and Regulation: OCR Issues Cybersecurity Warnings and New Health Data Legislation Is Introduced

On March 17, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued industry guidance for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) regulated entities to take preventative steps to protect against some of the more common, and often successful, cyber-attack techniques. For example, the number of breaches of unsecured electronic Personal Health Information (“ePHI”) reported to the OCR affecting 500 or more individuals due to hacking or IT incidents increased 45% from 2019 to 2020. Further, OCR noted that the number of breaches due to hacking or IT incidents accounted for 66% of all breaches affecting 500 or more individuals reported to the Department in 2020. OCR concludes most cyber-attacks could be prevented or substantially mitigated if HIPAA covered entities and business associates implemented HIPAA Security Rule requirements to address the most common types of attacks.

OCR’s reminders and recommendations for regulated entities include to: (more…)

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CPRA Law + Tech Series

WEBINAR

Sidley Senior Managing Associate Sheri Porath Rockwell (Chair, California Lawyers Association Privacy Law Section) and Stacey Gray, Director of Legislative Research & Analysis at the Future of Privacy Forum, will be leading a multi-session webinar series, CPRA Law + Tech, that focuses on the technologies and data practices at the heart of emerging state privacy legislation, including the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). (more…)

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How Artificial Intelligence Manufacturers Can Protect Themselves Against Future Negligence Claims

Innovative medical devices have changed the healthcare landscape and will continue making dramatic improvements in patient care. Nevertheless, the growth of such devices will inevitably lead to increased litigation over their alleged failures. All companies developing healthcare tech therefore need to consider measures to protect themselves against potential claims. (more…)

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Federal Trade Commission Hosts Panels Related to Consumer Privacy and Data Security at PrivacyCon

This summer, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) hosted its sixth annual PrivacyCon, an event focused on the latest research and trends related to consumer privacy and data security. This years’ event was divided into six panels: Algorithms; Privacy Considerations and Understandings; Adtech; Internet of Things; Privacy-Children and Teens; and, Privacy and the Pandemic. Welcoming attendees and kicking off the event, Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter called for minimization of data abuses and for a move away from the notice and consent model of privacy in favor of data minimization. PrivacyCon topics are selected by the FTC and often seen as an indication of enforcement priorities. (more…)

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Digital Health in the UK: MHRA Bold New (Regulatory) World?

In his statement to the House of Lords on September 16, Lord Frost announced that “we will use the provisions of the Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021 to overhaul our clinical trial frameworks, based on outdated EU legislation, giving a major boost to the UK’s world-class R&D sector and getting patients access to new lifesaving medicines more quickly. The MHRA which is a world class regulator as we know, is already reforming the medical devices regulations to create a world-leading regime in this area.” This provided a timely back-drop to the MHRA’s new publications on medical device software, and part of a broader agenda for regulatory change in the UK.

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NHS’ Plans to Share Patient Records with Third Parties

NHS Digital (the national custodian for health and care data in England) in May 2021, announced a new data sharing initiative called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) service. The launch of the GPDPR could result in the historical medical records of up to 55 million patients in England being shared with third parties.

Although the GP data collection was set to take place as of  July 1, 2021, on June 8, 2021 it was announced that the launch will be postponed to September 1, 2021.

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