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Beginning July 1, the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 requires that health care providers and other Florida businesses take additional steps to protect consumers’ personal information.

This means that Florida health care providers and business associates must now comply with HIPAA and the newly enacted state privacy law.

The new law broadens the definition of personal information, shortens the time for reporting of breaches to 30 days (from 45 days), and requires that breaches be reported to affected consumers as well as to the Florida Department of Legal Affairs.

The law defines “breach” to mean any unauthorized access of data in electronic form containing personal information.

There are exceptions to the consumer notification requirement in certain circumstances. However, health care organizations are required to consult with relevant federal, state or local law enforcement agencies in making that determination. If it is reasonably determined that the breach will not likely result in identity theft or other financial harm to the individual, that determination must be documented in writing by the organization and maintained for five years.

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If you have any questions regarding how to comply with the new law, please contact Gunster attorney Bruce Lamb or any member of Gunster’s health care law practice.

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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 160 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 350 largest law firms. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.

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