Disclosure Of Student Mental Health Records: Teachable Moment From Oregon

This month’s column in the Albany County Bar Association Newsletter reviews the situation that unfolded earlier this year at the University of Oregon.  The university, which had been put on notice of a tort claim by a student in connection with an alleged sexual assault,  controversially obtained the treatment records of the same student from an on-campus mental health clinic in preparation for its defense of the matter.

The situation at Oregon should serve as a teachable moment for colleges and universities. The article reviews the history of the case, summarizes the legal framework that applies to these types of student health records, and highlights some of the policy considerations that should accompany the legal analysis.


With the NFL season opener just a few hours away, the arrival our most recent Health Law column in the Albany County Bar Association Newsletter is timely as it explores the reporting of New York Giants star Jason Pierre-Paul’s amputated finger and analyzes whether media organizations can be liable for violations of a person’s health […]

Beware of Broadening Data Security Requirements – A National Trend

In the wake of some of the largest data security breaches in history, including the massive breach of government computer systems in June that compromised the sensitive information of 21.5 million people, several states have recently amended their current data security laws.  The recent amendments will likely give data security statutes more bite by providing […]

Update: Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Federal Case and Identifies When 60-day Clock for Repayment of Overpayments Begins Ticking

On August 3, 2015, Judge D.J. Ramos of the Southern District of New York denied Healthfirst’s motion to dismiss the United States’ action under the False Claims Act (FCA) and the related state action.  Healthfirst contended in its motion that the government failed to sufficiently plead the case.  Notably, in denying this motion, the court […]

A Boston hospital pays when its employees neglect HIPAA

After two investigations by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“HHS”), St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, a Boston-based hospital, has agreed to a Resolution Agreement with HHS. The Resolution Agreement appears to settle two apparently unrelated HIPAA issues at the same facility in 2012 and 2014.

47 State Attorneys General Ask Congress Not to Preempt State Data Breach Laws

In a letter to Congress, dated July 7, 2015, the majority of State Attorneys General made some noteworthy points that illustrate the differing perspectives on data breaches between states and the federal government. With Congressional passage of a federal law establishing a national data security and breach notification standard all but inevitable, 47 Attorneys General […]

New York Proposes Overhaul of Its Data Breach Statute and a New Data Security Standard in the Wake of Recent Cyber Attacks

The largest data security breaches ever reported have occurred in the last several years. The organizations whose data security systems were compromised in connection with these massive breaches include Anthem, Ebay, Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase, Adobe and now the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management. Not only is the scope of these breaches […]

New OIG Fraud Alert Focuses on Compensation of Medical Directors

The United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a short Fraud Alert last week focusing on the anti-kickback implications of certain compensation paid to medical directors. OIG noted that it had recently settled with a dozen physicians who had entered into medical director positions of various health care […]

Office of the State Comptroller Issues Medicaid Program Integrity Report

The New York State Medicaid program is projected to have a $62 billion-dollar price tag in State Fiscal Year 2016, with $22.4 billion paid out by the State, as explained by the New York State Office of the Comptroller (“OSC”) in its April 2015 report entitled Ensuring Integrity in New York State Medicaid.   As Medicaid […]