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What is Shannon Wiley looking forward to at this year's Asembia Specialty Pharmacy Summit? Find out more>


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Primary Care Providers Win Challenge of CMS Interpretation of Enhanced Payment Law

With the help and support of the Tennessee Medical Association, 21 Tennessee physicians of underserved communities joined together and retained Bass, Berry & Sims to file suit against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to stop improper collection efforts. Our team, led by David King, was successful in halting efforts to recoup TennCare payments that were used legitimately to expand services in communities that needed them. Read more

Tennessee Medical Association & Bass, Berry & Sims

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Download the Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Review 2017, authored by Bass, Berry & Sims

The Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Review 2017 details all healthcare-related False Claims Act settlements from last year, organized by particular sectors of the healthcare industry. In addition to reviewing all healthcare fraud-related settlements, the Review includes updates on enforcement-related litigation involving the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, and looks at the continued implications from the government's focus on enforcement efforts involving individual actors in connection with civil and criminal healthcare fraud investigations.

Click here to download the Review.

Privacy Perils: Data Collection from Connected Devices

Firm Publication


March 20, 2017

While the WikiLeaks CIA dump makes for interesting reading about our nation's capability to hack certain connected devices, it does not mean we are all being spied on while waiting for a microwave burrito. However, fanciful headlines do foreshadow privacy and data collection issues as the number of those connected devices (the "Things" in the Internet of Things) grow. 

From pacemakers to thermostats to baby monitors to toasters, everyday devices are becoming "smart." Unfortunately, many of these Things and the data they collect are notoriously insecure – many with outdated security and even known flaws – primarily because the flood of these devices has been so new and fast, and the devices are so varied, there are no security standards, and the devices are poorly patched.

These security flaws have not truly been exploited because these devices historically have been too frivolous to attack. That may soon change, because increasingly "smart" devices are gateways to more worthwhile targets, such as their connected networks. In addition, because the types of connected devices are becoming more substantial (such as our cars), the data being collecting is becoming more valuable, precise, and capable of being mined. 

Use of "smart" Things is a matter of convenience and lifestyle choice. However, that choice should be guided by whether you think every-Thing in your life really needs to be connected. Does your child really need a connected plush toy that collects her location, sibling's names, voice recordings, birthday and photo? Do other devices really need to send usage data to their manufacturers? 

Often the answer will be that the convenience and usefulness of the Thing – such as watching Netflix on a smart TV or controlling your thermostat remotely – outweighs the low risk of a data breach. If you make that choice, you should at least do a cursory review of the types of information the device intends to collect, the device's security, any privacy policy provided by the manufacturer, and any consumer and expert reviews of that device. 

In a welcome security step forward, some companies have started to employ two-factor authentication. For instance, Nest recently rolled out two-factor authentication for its home video cameras, thermostats and smoke alarms. Apple's HomeKit also includes a two-factor authentication option. Although text-based two-factor authentication is not failsafe, it certainly adds an extra layer of protection to account security.

Privacy Perils imageCheck out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact Bob Brewer, Tony McFarland, Elizabeth Warren or a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.

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