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Burns White appoints first Chief Privacy Officer

PITTSBURGH, May 13, 2014 — With an increasingly complex regulatory environment facing the firm and many of its clients, Burns White recently appointed Philadelphia-based Member Stuart T. O’Neal, III as Chief Privacy Officer to lead a new Policy Development Team in its efforts to take a more coordinated approach to regulatory compliance.

While clients in many industries are facing increased scrutiny, the creation of this position and team was prompted by the Omnibus Rule of the HITECH Act that went into effect in September 2013. These new regulations extended the protection of patient healthcare information provided by HIPAA and other privacy rules to include the business associates of hospitals, physicians and other covered entities.

As Chief Privacy Officer, Mr. O’Neal, who focuses his practice on the defense of medical facilities, long-term care companies and professionals of all types in professional and general liability claims, will be tasked with leading the firm’s policy efforts and further educating the firm and its healthcare clients regarding privacy and HIPAA regulations to help minimize the risk of any potential breaches from occurring.

“While Burns White certainly is not the only law firm to take a more detailed approach to its regulatory processes, we believe we are ahead of the curve,” said O’Neal. “The more proactive we can be in avoiding risk, the better it is for our clients… so putting the resources together for this was a natural strategic move for the firm.”