HIPAA Final Rule: Modified Rule for Business Associates and Subcontractors

February 6, 2013.  Today, we cover the business associate Administrative Safeguard (b) of the Security Rule, as modified by the Final Rule:  Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act [HITECH Act] and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; Other Modifications of the HIPAA Rules, which was published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2013.  The effective date of the Final Rule is March 26, 2013, and covered entities and business associates must comply by September 23, 2013. HIPAA did not directly regulate business associates of covered entities.  The HITECH Act’s 13401 statutorily changed that:  The…

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Final HIPAA Rule: Security Statutory Authority and Direct Regulation of Business Associates

February 4, 2013.  Today, we cover the security safeguards of the HIPAA Security Rule, as Modified by the Final Rule:  Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act [HITECH Act] and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; Other Modifications of the HIPAA Rules, which was published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2013.  The effective date of the Final Rule is March 26, 2013, and covered entities and business associates must comply by September 23, 2013. The statutory authority for applicability of the HIPAA Security Rule is in Section 13401 of the HITECH Act (123 STAT….

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CMS and ONC Publish Final Rules for Meaningful Use Stage 2 Security in Federal Register

September 4, 2012.  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entities:  Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), published their Final Rules for Meaningful Use Stage 2 in today’s Federal Register.  This posting focuses on the preamble relating to the following Stage 2 security objective in the CMS Final Rule entitled Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program:  “Protect electronic health information created or maintained by the Certified EHR Technology [CEHRT] through the implementation of appropriate technical capabilities.”  Reference numbers in brackets refer to the page number(s) in the September 4, 2012,  Federal Register. Associated with this objective…

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OCR Publishes HIPAA/HITECH Act Privacy and Security Compliance Audit Protocol

July 9, 2012.  Late in June, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its HIPAA/HITECH Act Privacy and Security Compliance Audit Protocol.  Here is OCR’s description of the program, which outlines 77 audit procedures for the HIPAA Security Rule and 88 audit procedures for the HIPAA Privacy and HITECH Act Breach Notification Rules: “The OCR HIPAA Audit program analyzes processes, controls, and policies of selected covered entities pursuant to the HITECH Act audit mandate.  OCR established a comprehensive audit protocol that contains the requirements to be assessed through these performance audits.  The entire audit protocol is organized around modules, representing separate…

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Access Control: Encryption and Decryption-What to Do and How to Do It

In our series on the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Security Rule, this is the fourth implementation specification for the Technical Safeguard Standard, Access Control. This implementation specification is addressable. Addressable does not mean “optional.”  Rather, an addressable implementation specification means that a covered entity must use reasonable and appropriate measures to meet the standard. As we noted in earlier postings on HIPAA.com, business associates of covered entities will be required to comply with the Security Rule safeguard standards, beginning February 17, 2010. This requirement is one of the HITECH Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009. What to Do Implement…

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Access Control: Automatic Logoff-What to Do and How to Do It

In our series on the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Security Rule, this is the third implementation specification for the Technical Safeguard Standard, Access Control. This implementation specification is addressable. Addressable does not mean “optional.”  Rather, an addressable implementation specification means that a covered entity must use reasonable and appropriate measures to meet the standard. As we noted in earlier postings on HIPAA.com, business associates of covered entities will be required to comply with the Security Rule safeguard standards, beginning February 17, 2010. This requirement is one of the HITECH Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009. What to Do Implement…

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Access Control: Emergency Access Procedure-What to Do and How to Do It

In our series on the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Security Rule, this is the second implementation specification for the Technical Safeguard Standard, Access Control. This implementation specification is required. As we noted in earlier postings on HIPAA.com, business associates of covered entities will be required to comply with the Security Rule safeguard standards, beginning February 17, 2010. This requirement is one of the HITECH Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009. What to Do Establish and implement as needed procedures for obtaining necessary electronic protected health information during an emergency. How to Do It Emergency access refers to loss of…

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Access Control: Unique User Identification-What to Do and How to Do It

In our series on the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Security Rule, this is the first implementation specification for the Technical Safeguard Standard, Access Control. This implementation specification is required. As we noted in earlier postings on HIPAA.com, business associates of covered entities will be required to comply with the Security Rule safeguard standards, beginning February 17, 2010. This requirement is one of the HITECH Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009. What to Do Assign a unique name and/or number for identifying and tracking user identity. How to Do It The covered entity should establish a policy whereby its Security…

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Access Control: What This HIPAA Security Rule Technical Safeguard Standard Means

This is the first Technical Safeguard Standard of the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Security Rule. It has four implementation specifications:  unique user identification; emergency access procedure; automatic logoff; and encryption and decryption. The first two are required; the last two are addressable. Addressable does not mean “optional.” Rather, an addressable implementation specification means that a covered entity must use reasonable and appropriate measures to meet the standard. As we have noted in earlier postings on HIPAA.com, business associates of covered entities will be required to comply with the Security Rule safeguard standards, beginning February 17, 2010. This requirement is one of the HITECH Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment…

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