Written by: Alex Battey, Esq. Anesthesia professionals often find themselves on the front lines of the ongoing fight against opioid addiction. Whether in the subspecialty of pain management or through their treatment of post-surgical patients, physicians and nurse anesthetists are often faced with the difficult taks of balancing the need for effective pain control measures with the patient’s risk for, or history of, opioid abuse. Some providers are exploring the use of regional anesthesia, in which nerve blocks are implemented to delivery non-opioid, long-acting numbing medication directly to nerves affected by certain surgical procedures in the days immediately following surgery. Anesthesiologists implementing these techniques in orthopedic surgeries have reported shorter hospital stays as the patients are able to move around sooner following surgery. Providers have also had success limiting the need for post-surgical opioids by utilizing doses of IV acetaminophen or ibuprofen on the day of surgery. The American Association…       Read More

Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. Aetna Faces Class-Action Lawsuit After Exposing Patient HIV Information Healthcare Dive While health systems are devoting more resources to protecting patient data with cybersecurity methods, breaches of confidential information can also … Artificial Intelligence Cyber Attacks Are Coming – but What Does that Mean? The Conversation US The next major cyberattack could involve artificial intelligence systems. It could even happen soon: At a recent cybersecurity conference, 62 industry … MLL Investigating ‘Data Incident’ That Exposed Players’ Personal Information US Lacrosse Magazine Major League Lacrosse is investigating a “data incident” that exposed the personal information – including social security numbers, email addresses, … Medical Identity Theft a Growing Threat Greenville News There were more data breaches in the health care sector in 2015 than in any other critical infrastructure sector, according to a new report from the … Abbott Releases New Round of Cyber Updates for St….       Read More

Written by: Anthony E. Stewart, Esq. Ransomware attacks, like other cyber-attacks, are occurring more and more frequently, and healthcare entities are common targets.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a quick-response checklist and infographic detailing steps a HIPAA covered entity or its business associate should take to respond to a cyber-related security incident. 1. RESPOND The entity must execute its response and mitigation procedures and contingency plans. a. Immediately fix any technical or other problems to stop the incident. b. Mitigate any impermissible disclosure of protected health information 2. REPORT CRIME The entity should report the crime to criminal law enforcement agencies, which may include: a. State or local law enforcement b. Federal Bureau of Investigation c. Secret Service Any reports to law enforcement should not include protected health information, unless otherwise permitted by the HIPAA Privacy Rule. 3. REPORT THREAT…       Read More

Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. Is Someone Hacking our 7th Fleet? Navy to Investigate After USS John S McCain Collision Fox News Richardson made clear that there is no evidence of a hacking at this point, but some cyber experts have raised to possibility given the location of the … 3 Ways Blockchain Is Revolutionizing Cybersecurity Forbes … in value, its blockchain underpinnings have so far successfully withstood cyber-attacks for more than 8 years. … Consider, for example, the risk that WhatsApp and Telegram could have faced with a flaw based on image metadata. NHS 1.2 Million Patient Name Database Hacked ‘to Expose Weaknesses’ SC Magazine UK In typical Sun style, the article identifies the culprit as, “A computer geek with alleged links to global hacking group Anonymous,” and adds that “The … Hacker Steals $475,000 Worth of Ethereum After Breaching Enigma Project BleepingComputer An unidentified hacker (or hackers) has taken…       Read More

International business attorney John Parkerson will deliver opening remarks on Friday at an invitation-only reception and lunch discussion on global affairs with U.S. Senator David Perdue and General Richard Hawley, USAF (retired).  Parkerson a representative on the Atlanta Advisory Council of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, which works in our nation’s capital and across the country to strengthen America’s civilian-led tools — development and diplomacy — alongside defense. By advocating for a strong International Affairs Budget, the USGLC is working to make America’s international affairs programs a keystone of U.S. foreign policy.  Parkerson is a frequent speaker on international affairs topics.

Written by Beth W. Kanik, Esq. In 1999, Dr. Abraham Verghese wrote of his relationship with a physician who succumbed to his drug addiction in spite of all efforts to help in “The Tennis Partner”. Then, it was thought that a physician addicted to drugs was an anomaly. Nearly 20 years later, published studies have shown that each year, more than 160,000 health care providers will misuse the drugs that they have access to. Easy access to controlled substances not only puts the individual provider at risk, but also brings risk to their patients. Just as this nation’s leaders were slow to recognize the opioid crisis enveloping the nation, courts and medical societies have been slow in protecting the patients from their own medical providers. One way medical societies and boards tried to address physician mis-use was through voluntary diversion programs. Based on widely accepted estimates of substance abuse among…       Read More

Compiled by: Richard Sheinis, Esq. Uber Agrees to 20 Years of Privacy Audits After FTC Says it ‘Failed Consumers’ CNBC Uber has settled with federal regulators that accused the start-up of “deceptive privacy and data security claims.” More than 100,000 names and … 86 Percent WhatsApp Users Exposed to Fraud, Hacking: Study Deccan Chronicle 86 per cent WhatsApp users exposed to fraud, hacking: Study … Brigham Young University computer science PhD student who led the study. Feds Charge Ex-Denali CTO Michael Leeper With Computer Fraud In Columbia Sportswear … CRN The U.S. Attorney’s office has charged ex-Denali CTO Michael Leeper (pictured) with one count of computer fraud, claiming that Leeper remotely and … Anthem Breach Lesson: Why Granular Access Control Matters BankInfoSecurity.com … absolutely prevent a breach in any sort of operational business because you have to be sharing data – and people have to be working with that data ……       Read More

Written by: Duke Regan, Esq. President Trump’s recent declaration of a national state of emergency regarding the opioid crisis serves as yet another reminder of the scope and seriousness of the opioid threat. Some states, such as Florida, have already declared state emergencies and established state databases to assist healthcare providers in assessing and fighting the opioid crisis. While organized efforts are certainly a significant step in the fight against the opioid crisis, health care facilities and health care providers need to consider factors extending beyond their own patient encounters. These include a patient’s drug seeking tendencies, opioid tolerance, and also outside pressures from the pharmaceutical industry. Since 2009 pharmaceutical companies have been allowed to disseminate information suggesting certain products may have uses beyond their specific FDA approvals. The companies cannot directly market these uses but can suggest some medications, including opioids, have broader applications. There is no question so…       Read More

Written by: Rayford Taylor, Esq. The First District Court of Appeal recently considered an appeal in the case of Julio Jiminez v. UPS, Case No. 1D16-4959, involving a challenge to Section 440.12(2) Fla. Stat. (2014). That statute sets the cap on the maximum weekly compensation rate. The merits of the challenge were not addressed by the Appeals Court because the case was sent back to the Judge of Compensation Claims (“JCC”) for further development of the record. Florida appears to be the latest state to challenge the existence of a statutory cap, or limitation on the maximum amount payable as a weekly compensation rate. This challenge is similar to a recent challenge filed in Alabama challenging its version of the maximum compensation rate. That Alabama case is known as Clower v. CVS Caremark Corp. The trial judge there found the weekly maximum compensation rate of $220.00 to be unconstitutional. The…       Read More

Featured on Hospitality Upgrade Magazine’s Tech Talk. Written by: Sam Crochet, Esq. In my June column, we discussed why the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) matters to the hospitality industry and the technical/organizational steps members should take to comply with the regulation. Practically speaking, any U.S. company desirous of European customers must comply with the GDPR as of May 25, 2018, or risk facing penalties as high as 4 percent of global revenue. In this segment, we move on to two key requirements of the GDPR that supervisory authorities will be monitoring (and enforcing) closely: consent and breach notification. 1. Changes to How Hospitality Members Must Obtain “Consent” to Collect Data The GDPR requires companies to give European consumers the chance to “opt in” to data collection by a statement or clear affirmative action. Presentation of the “opt in” request must be clear and concise. This is a stark shift from the former…       Read More