HHS Strengthens HIPAA Enforcement

On Friday, October 30, 2009, HHS published in the Federal Register its Interim Final Rule that strengthens HIPAA enforcement under HITECH Act civil penalty revisions enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 17, 2009.  “These HITECH Act revisions significantly increase the penalty amounts the Secretary [of HHS] may impose for violations of the HIPAA rules and encourage prompt corrective action,” according to the HHS press release.  The Interim Final Rule is effective as federal policy on November 30, 2009, and HHS requests comments by December 29, 2009. With the definition of ‘breach’ in the HITECH Act moving privacy and security violations under one requirement requiring…

READ MORE

FTC Delays Identity Theft Prevention Red Flags Rule for Second Time

The Federal Trade Commission announced a second delay on Friday, May 1, 2009, for compliance with the identity theft prevention red flags rule. The delay is for three months, with compliance now scheduled for August 1, 2009. Entities affected are creditors and financial institutions. Healthcare providers that extend delayed payment plans to patients are deemed “creditors” under the red flags rule. This delay was to give affected entities more time to develop and implement written identity theft prevention policies and procedures for compliance with the rule, which is based on enabling regulations of provisions in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. You can visit the FTC website…

READ MORE