Author Archives: wdillon

William Dillon has been designated as a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States, by the International Association of Privacy Professionals

William Dillon – Certified Information Privacy Professional
Tallahassee, Fla. (July 24, 2017)

Messer Caparello, P.A., is pleased to announce that William Dillon, a shareholder and attorney practicing in its full-service Tallahassee firm, has been designated as a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States, “CIPP/US”, by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, “IAPP”. The IAPP is the world’s largest and most comprehensive information privacy organization that helps define, support and improve the privacy professional globally. The CIPP/US designation is awarded to individuals that demonstrate, via experience, training and testing, mastery of privacy related laws and concepts, across all areas, for private sector entities in the United States.

In addition to being designated as a Certified Information Privacy Professional, Mr. Dillon is certified by the Florida Bar as a Specialist in the area of Health Law. He is also holds a certification in healthcare compliance, “CHC”, from the Health Care Compliance Association.

The law firm of Messer Caparello, P.A., located in Tallahassee, Florida, is a full-service legal organization. The firm combines the finest legal traditions of Florida’s “Capital City,” with the creative problem-solving skills necessary to resolve today’s complex legal challenges. The firm and its members embody a spirit of true professionalism, as evidenced by service to the client, to the system of justice, and to the public. As a result, the firm represents a diversity of clients across the full spectrum of judicial, administrative, and public policy forums. www.lawfla.com

Contact: William Dillon, Tanya Weiss, Messer Caparello, P.A., (850) 222-0720 or tweiss@lawfla.comContinue Reading William Dillon has been designated as a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States, by the International Association of Privacy Professionals

Messer Caparello, PA, attorney Bill Dillon to present at the Health Care Compliance Association’s Conference

Dillon-cropped-smallOn February 7, 2014, Messer Caparello, PA, attorney Bill Dillon will be presenting to the Health Care Compliance Association’s South Atlantic Regional Conference in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Dillon , who is Board Certified in Health Law by the Florida Bar, will be speaking on “Potential EHR Pitfalls for Physician Group Practices”.

FTC Action Should Serve as a Wake Up Call to Health Care Providers and Business Associates

Late in August of 2013 the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against medical testing company LabMD, Inc., alleging that the company failed to reasonably protect the security of consumers’ personal data, including medical information. In November of 2013, LabMD filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint, arguing, among other things, that the FTC did not have the authority to regulate a private company’s data security practices as “unfair…acts or practices” under the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. §45(a)(1)). Included in LabMD’s argument was the contention that Congress, by enacting HIPAA, stripped the FTC of any authority that the FTCA over data security. The FTC Commissioners found LabMD’s arguments unpersuasive and in a January 16, 2014 order denied the Motion to Dismiss.

(See http://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/cases/140117labmdorder.pdf)

Health care providers and business associates should take heed that, while such enforcement has been rare, the FTC does have the authority to take action to protect consumers in data security matters that would normally be considered within the exclusive province of the Office of Civil Rights. HIPAA covered entities and business associates that handle patient information should remain vigilant in their efforts to maintain appropriate safeguards for patient information.

William Dillon
Board Certified in Health Law

Merry Christmas from the OCR – Dermatology Practice Settles Potential HIPAA Violations

On December 24, 2013 the HHS Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) and Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, P.C., of Concord, Massachusetts entered into a Resolution Agreement whereby the practice agreed to settle potential violations of the HIPAA privacy and security rules. The potential violations of HIPAA resulted from the theft of an unencrypted thumb drive, containing the ePHI of approximately 2,200 patients, from the car of a practice employee.

Upon being notified of the breach the OCR conducted an investigation and determined that the practice had failed to conduct and accurate and thorough analysis of potential risks to ePHI in the care of the practice. The OCR further determined that the practice did not have adequate written policies and procedures and did not adequately train employees.

The Resolution Agreement entered into between the practice and the OCR requires the practice to make a $150,000.00 payment to the OCR as well as implement a corrective action plan. The Resolution Agreement is not an admission of liability by the practice.

A copy of the Resolution Agreement may be found at:

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/enforcement/examples/apderm-resolution-agreement.pdf

Physician practices should view this settlement as clear indication that OCR expects the compliance of all covered entities and not just large entities such as hospitals, universities and managed care entities. Physician practices that are not yet in compliance with the HIPAA privacy and security rules should take the appropriate steps to come into compliance.

William Dillon
Board Certified in Health Law

Federal Judge Concludes that Florida Statute is Preempted by HIPAA

In an order issued on September 25, 2013, Judge Robert Hinkle of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida has ruled that a 2013 legislative change to the presuit process for pursing a medical-negligence claim is preempted by HIPAA.

In 2013, the Florida legislature added a new requirement to Florida’s medical-negligence claim presuit process whereby an individual who was considering pursuing a malpractice claim against a health care provider would be required to sign an authorization that would allow the defendant or the defendants attorney to conduct ex parte interviews of the plaintiff’s other health care providers, limited to matters pertinent to the potential malpractice claim. The Court held, among other things, that the mandatory authorization requirement was contrary to both the judicial and administrative protections of HIPAA, which allow an individual to object to a disclosure of medical information, as well as the authorization of requirements of HIPAA. Speaking to the authorization issue, the Court stated that “An authorization signed under duress-a gun to the head, for example-is not valid.”

Case Information: Murphy v. Dulay, Case No.: 4:13cv378-RH/CAS Northern District of Florida

By: William Dillon, Board Certified in Health Law

Consumer Fraud in the Health Insurance Market Place

Beginning on October 1, 2013, Floridians will have access to the Health Insurance Market Place that has been established as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Eligible consumers will be able to obtain information about available health insurance coverage options for them and their families. Unfortunately, there are those that would seek to take advantage of these consumers. Accordingly, the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services has issued an alert, warning consumers of possible fraudulent scams that may be occurring in the market place. The Consumer Alert may be accessed via the following link:

http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/consumer-alerts/alerts/marketplace.asp?ref=widget

By: William Dillon – Board Certified in Health Law

OCR Provides Guidance Regarding Student Immunizations

There have been barriers, real or perceived, which in some cases have prevented the timely exchange of student immunization records between health care providers and schools. In notice published on September 19, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights published guidance that will, hopefully, facilitate the timely flow of student immunization information between health care providers and schools.

As explained in more detail in the link below, OCR will not require health care providers to obtain a formal written consent or authorization in order provide immunization records to a school. There must still be an agreement from the parent of a child to provide the records but such agreement may be oral or written. In either case, the health care provider would be required to document the parent’s agreement in the child’s medical records.

By: William Dillon, Board Certified in Health Law – wdillon@lawfla.com

OCR Posts Model Notice of Privacy Practices

With the September 23, 2013 HIPAA compliance deadline just days away, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights has published guidance to assist covered entities in complying with the new requirements under the Omnibus Rule. Below is a link to the OCR guidance and Model Notice.

http://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/model-notices-privacy-practices

William Dillon, Board Certified in Health Law

HIPAA Privacy And Security Compliance: More Important Than Ever

On January 25, 2013 the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule modifying the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Enforcement rules.  The effective date of the final rule was March 26, 2013, however, covered entities and business associates have been given until September 23, 2013 to comply with the final rule.  This Health Law update is the first in a series of updates to discuss the new compliance requirements of covered entities and business associates.

Continue Reading HIPAA Privacy And Security Compliance: More Important Than Ever