Jordan Cohen

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FTC’s Updated Health Breach Notification Rule Puts Health App Developers on Notice

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) years-long effort to modernize its Health Breach Notification Rule (HBNR) in the midst of a swiftly changing technological landscape appears to be coming to an end. On Thursday, May 30, 2024, the FTC published its final rule implementing the HBNR. And so begins a new robust enforcement landscape for health and wellness … Continue Reading

OCR and FTC Issue Warning to Hospital Systems and Telehealth Providers about Tracking Technologies

On July 20, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced they were sending a joint letter to approximately 130 unidentified hospital systems and telehealth providers highlighting the agencies’ concerns about the use of tracking technologies on websites and mobile apps in … Continue Reading

OIG Issues Information Blocking Penalties Final Rule: Health IT Developers and Health Information Exchanges/Networks Have a Million Reasons to Care

On June 27, 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued its long-anticipated final rule amending the OIG’s civil monetary penalty (CMP) regulations as they relate to information blocking (CMP Final Rule or Rule). The CMP Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on July 3, 2023. … Continue Reading

Health Apps Beware: FTC Clarifies Health Breach Notification Rule with Significant Proposed Changes

Direct-to-consumer health and wellness applications are forewarned: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is proposing changes to the Health Breach Notification Rule (HBNR), 16 C.F.R. part 318, that, if finalized, would cement the HBNR’s applicability to a broad swath of direct-to-consumer health and wellness applications (apps) and confirm that a breach of security includes not only … Continue Reading

OCR’s Proposed Rule Finds Fertile Ground for Enhanced Reproductive Privacy Protection

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a proposed rule on April 17, 2023, to amend provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to strengthen privacy protections for individuals’ protected health information (PHI) related to reproductive healthcare (the Proposed Rule). The Proposed Rule would … Continue Reading

All Good Things Must Come to an End: The Expiration of OCR’s Enforcement Discretion

On April 11, 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) confirmed that four notifications of enforcement discretion regarding enforcement of the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules (the HIPAA rules) during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) will expire at the end of the PHE.1 The notifications, which … Continue Reading

The FTC Sends Another Warning to Digital Healthcare Platforms About Use of Tracking Pixels

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to prioritize the protection of consumers’ digital health information. The agency has demonstrated this commitment through enforcement actions against GoodRx and BetterHelp for sharing consumer health information for advertising purposes (see our blog posts on each respective action here and here), and in a post published by the FTC … Continue Reading

FTC Cracks Down on BetterHelp’s Sharing of Health Information for Advertising 

Following its February settlement with GoodRx, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fired another shot across the bow in its ongoing campaign to protect consumers’ digital health information. Earlier this month the FTC announced a consent order with BetterHelp, Inc., an online mental health counseling service, to resolve alleged violations of the Federal Trade Commission … Continue Reading

FTC’s Enforcement Action Against GoodRx Breathes New Life into Decade Old Regulation

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) didn’t mince words. On September 2021, it called out the health app industry for failing to understand the agency’s Health Breach Notification Rule (HBNR) and for not disclosing its breaches. Apparently dissatisfied with the industry’s response, the agency enforced the HBNR against GoodRx for the first time since the rule … Continue Reading

Mind Games: SCOTUS to Rule on what “Knowing” Means under the False Claims Act 

What does it mean to “knowingly” or “recklessly” violate the law when that law consists of highly complex and ever-changing regulations, which may be open to interpretation? The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to review that question in two consolidated cases from the Seventh Circuit: U.S. ex rel. Tracy Schutte, et al. v. SuperValu Inc., … Continue Reading
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