HHS’ ONC Releases Proposed Rule for Temporary and Permanent HIT Certification Programs

On Wednesday, March 10, 2010, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published in the Federal Register the Proposed Rule (NPRM) for Proposed Establishment of Certification Programs for Health Information Technology.  [75 Federal Register 11327-11373]  We present the summary of the NPRM. “SUMMARY.  Under the authority granted to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (the National Coordinator) by section 3001(c)(5) of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) as added by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH ) Act, this rule proposes the establishment of two certification programs for purposes of testing and certifying…

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OCR Identifies 36 Entities with Breaches Affecting 500 or More Individuals

On Monday, February 22, 2010, the federal government, through the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), began enforcing the Breach Notification Rule for breaches occurring on or after that date.  The Breach Notification for Unsecured Protected Health Information; Interim Final Rule, was published in the Federal Register on Monday, August 24, 2009 [74 FR 42739-42770] and was effective September 23, 2009.  Since September 22, 2009, 36 breaches of privacy or security of protected health information (PHI) affecting 500 or more individuals have been reported to OCR.  The total number of individuals affected was 1,073,657, with two of the breaches involving 359,000 (FL)…

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