Healthcare Partner Jeff Drummond Comments on Data Breach Case
Jackson Walker partner Jeff Drummond was quoted in an article by Law360 titled, “HHS Pact Shows Data Breach Reporting Can’t Fall Off Radar,” on January 17, 2017.
An Illinois hospital recently paid a $475,000 settlement to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a result of their failure to timely report a data breach that compromised the information of over 800 patients. This was the first time that a medical provider was disciplined for violating the timely reporting requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which requires the reporting of such data breaches within 60 days of discovery.
The hospital instead reported the breach over 100 days after it was discovered, prompting swift enforcement action from the OCR.
Jackson Walker partner Jeff Drummond told Law360 that the settlement was on par with the OCR’s approach to handling violations. “One hundred to 110 days is definitely more than 60, but it’s not a year later or never,” Jeff said. “But this case does seem consistent with OCR’s pattern of punishment: balanced but big.”
Jeff, who represents healthcare providers in regulatory matters, also noted that the OCR’s aggressive handling of this data breach case could backfire. Though the agency aims to promote timely reporting of breaches, in the future, news of this settlement could convince providers to hide data breaches in order to avoid paying a fine.
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About Jeff Drummond
Jeffery P. Drummond practices healthcare law Jackson Walker, and is recognized for his expertise in HIPAA legislation. He advises hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers in a variety of corporate, transactional, and regulatory matters. He has successfully represented numerous providers in cases involving healthcare data breaches, including direct negotiations with the Office for Civil Rights. He is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and was recognized on D Magazine’s Best Lawyers list in 2014.