Healthcare data breaches occur on a daily basis in the US. Most healthcare providers expect it is a matter of “when” not “if” they will be impacted. The US Department of Health and Human Services reported 325 healthcare data breaches in in the first six months of 2021.  As the threat of being hacked increases, more health care providers are purchasing cyber liability insurance to protect against data breaches or online attack.

The timing could not be worse. With cyberattacks on the rise, and demand for coverage surging, the $3 billion cyber insurance industry is facing higher costs and substantially more risk than ever before. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, premiums have more than doubled since 2015. Some companies report their policy premiums increasing 35% over prior year.  Almost all premiums climbed by double digits in 2020.

As a result of soaring losses, insurers are doing more due diligence on customer’s applying for coverage, raising prices, and limiting the liability coverage. Upper limits of $10M are really a thing of the past and policy holders are receiving notices that the coverage is being slashed to $5M or even less if the policy holder cannot demonstrate their compliance with data privacy standards and best practices.

Due to the uptick in ransomware losses, the underwriting process now often requires the applicant to provide written documentation of security audits, submission of incident security plans, disaster recovery plans, and compliance with industry standards like SOC or HITRUST. Some companies will find that they are unable to obtain cyber coverage at all.

Continue Reading Impact of Ransomware Attacks on the Cyber Liability Insurance Market

Webinar: Physician Roll-Up Transactions
Join Winstead for a webinar on physician roll-up transactions. During the webinar, guest speakers will discuss various strategies and structures for successfully effecting roll-up transactions, including how physician groups should prepare in advance of exploring a potential transaction in order to maximize their value. The panel will also discuss current trends, developments, opportunities and challenges related to physician roll-up transactions and the Physician Practice Management space.

Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Time: 12:00 p.m. Central Time

Moderator:
Justin Hoover, Shareholder, Winstead

Speakers:
Torie Berkowitz, Corporate Counsel & Director of Legal Affairs, Epiphany Dermatology
Joanne Comer, Sr. VP, Corporate Development, WellMed Medical Management
Daniel Hosler, CEO and Co-Founder, Allied OMS

Register Here

Winstead PC Shareholder Taylor White published his column in Texas Lawyer about labor and employment issues and trending topics. The article is titled ‘Employers Get Clarity on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies in the Workplace.’ The article is below:

For months, employers and employment attorneys have navigated a number of considerations and governmental guidance documents regarding COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace. A key question has been whether employers can implement policies requiring employees entering the workplace to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Notwithstanding the business consideration of whether such policies should be implemented, the consensus among practitioners has been that mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace are legally permissible. Two recent developments have generally confirmed that consensus: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s May 28, 2021, updates to its technical assistance guidance, and a recent federal court order dismissing claims brought by employees against their employer based on the employer’s mandatory vaccination policy.

Continue Reading Taylor White in Texas Lawyer: Employers Get Clarity on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies in the Workplace

Last week, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on investigations and audits by several states into the contractual relationships with pharmacy benefit managers, also known as PBMs. As noted in the article, state Medicaid programs are taking a closer look at their PBM contractors’ compliance practices, both contract and regulatory, to determine whether the PBMs received any potential overpayments.  According to the WSJ, certain states—including Ohio, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Georgia and New Mexico—have hired outside legal counsel to assist in the investigation. The current investigations could have significant implications for the state healthcare programs and Medicaid PBMs moving forward.  One state attorney general quoted in the article notes that other states are examining their relationships with PBMs and the number of states bringing complaints against PBMs may increase.  The full WSJ article (subscription required) is available here.

Winstead PC is collaborating with Texas Health Catalyst at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin to support entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of developing their healthcare technology products.

Spearheaded by Dr. Nishi Viswanathan, Texas Health Catalyst is based on a unique model focused on the development of early-stage ideas and discoveries that have the potential for profound impact on the healthcare industry. Beginning in spring 2021, Texas Health Catalyst will launch its application process and will select 10 of the most promising candidates to join the program. Winstead attorneys will provide tailored consultations for each applicant to address current or potential legal issues.

Winstead will provide startup entrepreneurs with resources and support on legal matters such as entity formation, licensing from universities, IP strategy, funding, lease agreements, OSHA, privacy/global agreements, and more. The firm will also offer educational programming and opportunities to meet and network with other professionals in the startup community.

“Winstead is committed to moving healthcare technology and the latest innovations in the life sciences industry forward,” said Winstead Shareholder Lekha Gopalakrishnan. “Our collaboration with Texas Health Catalyst is intended to advance their mission of addressing unmet needs in healthcare through technology innovation.”

Winstead’s Emerging-Growth Companies & Venture Capital team works with a broad spectrum of individuals who are looking to take their business to the next level. The group’s experienced attorneys work with founders, entrepreneurs, startups, and emerging-growth companies, providing tailored legal counsel designed to help them meet their specific goals. Winstead’s Intellectual Property team provides inventors and startup companies with strategic counsel on all aspects of intellectual property, including trademarks, IP protection, and due diligence to support commercialization goals. Additionally, Winstead attorneys also work with angel investors, venture capitalists, and private equity funds, as well as other institutional investors, to help them find and fund the next great company.

Winstead Shareholders Corinne Smith and Kevin Wood hosted a webinar on Wednesday, May 5 at 3:00 p.m.

Most hospitals and health systems, regardless of size, are planning to increase their investments in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). ASCs have become the model for providing high-quality, low-cost surgical care, and many hospitals are converting their outpatient departments or migrating cases to ASCs. Consumer- and payer-driven trends favor ASCs, and hospitals are recognizing they need at least one ASC in their portfolio to accommodate patients and payers looking for a lower acuity, less expensive site for outpatient surgery. The panel will discuss current trends, developments, opportunities and challenges related to ASC investments, joint ventures, HOPD-to-ASC conversions, outpatient migration, impact of COVID-19, and more.

Speakers:
Joan Dentler, President and CEO, Avanza Healthcare Strategies
Carole Guinane, Executive Director of Ambulatory Surgery Center Operations, Cedars-Sinai
Corinne Smith, Shareholder, Winstead PC
Kevin Wood, Shareholder, Winstead PC

Hosted by: Avanza Healthcare Strategies and Winstead PC

VIEW ON DEMAND WEBINAR

Winstead PC Shareholder Taylor White published the second article for his column in Texas Lawyer about labor and employment issues and trending topics. The article is titled “OSHA Emphasizes Enforcement Effort for COVID-19 Hazards in Certain Industries.” The article is below:

Throughout the pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has faced criticism that it was not doing enough to protect America’s workers from COVID-19 hazards. Then, on Feb. 25, the U.S. Office of the Inspector General, the watchdog for the U.S. Department of Labor, issued a report, observing that “there is an increased risk that OSHA is not providing the level of protection that workers need at various job sites.” OSHA is focused on changing that perception in the coming months.
Continue Reading Taylor White in Texas Lawyer: OSHA Emphasizes Enforcement Effort for COVID-19 Hazards in Certain Industries

Big data entails nearly every aspect of commerce.  However, protecting big data as a form of intellectual property is complex.  For instance, patents, copyrights and trade secrets provide limited protection for datasets.  Moreover, the ownership of datasets can be uncertain.  Additionally, datasets may be subject to numerous regulatory laws.  In view of the aforementioned complexities, contractual agreements play a pivotal role in protecting and commercializing big data.

Big data is a valuable asset

Big data can be in many forms.  Such forms can include market data, consumer data, business records, health records, and experimental results.

Additionally, big data can find applications in numerous fields, including the healthcare and life sciences industries.  For instance, in the healthcare industry, data extracted from electronic health records can be supplied into a software with artificial intelligence (AI) or machine-learning algorithms for diagnostic applications, such as detecting early heart failure and predicting surgical complications[1].  Similarly, in the life sciences industry, DNA sequences generated through next generation sequencing techniques can be supplied to various AI-based software for the identification of potential drug targets[2].

Continue Reading Big Data as a Valuable Asset: Avenues for Protecting and Commercializing Big Data through Contractual Agreements

Winstead PC Shareholder Taylor White published the first article for his column in Texas Lawyer about labor and employment issues and trending topics. The article is titled “Best Practices and Considerations for Employers Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine in the Workplace.” The article is below:

“With states individually rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine to residents, employers are, and should be, beginning to consider their options with respect to employee vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has previously recommended giving the COVID-19 vaccine in phases initially, as it relates to employees: (1) health care employees; then, (2) frontline essential employees, such as education workers, manufacturing workers, first responders, and food and agricultural workers; and then, (3) other essential workers, such as construction workers, finance workers, and transportation and logistics workers. Of course, ‘the goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available.’ Continue Reading Taylor White in Texas Lawyer: Best Practices and Considerations for Employers Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine in the Workplace