HHS Publishes HITECH Act Accounting of Disclosures NPRM

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has published in the May 31, 2011, Federal Register the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) entitled HIPAA Privacy Rule Accounting of Disclosures Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (76(104), pp. 31426-31449). This NPRM is available online in pdf.  Comments on the NPRM are requested to be submitted on or before August 1, 2011.  The Summary of the NPRM with abbreviations, as noted, on p. 31426, is: “HHS is issuing this NPRM to modify the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s standard for accounting of disclosures of protected health information.  The purpose of these modifications…

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HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement Rule Modifications NPRM at Federal Register

This morning, July 8, 2010, HHS’ Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was posted at the Federal Register for public access prior to publication.  It will be published on Wednesday, July 14, 2010.  The 234 page NPRM can be accessed in portable document format (pdf) online at:  http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2010-16718_PI.pdf.  There will be a 60-day comment period relating to the content of the NPRM.  HIPAA.com will provide a synopsis of the NPRM in a series of postings following publication in the Federal Register.

Final Rules for EHR Incentives and Certification Criteria at OMB for Review

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received in early July for Executive Order (EO) 12866 Regulatory Planning and Review two Final Rules relating to electronic health record (EHR) incentives and certification criteria required under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) that was enacted on February 17, 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. On Friday, July 2, 2010, OMB received from the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for review Health Information Technology:  Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology; Final Rule.  The Interim Final…

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OMB Completes Review of HIPAA/HITECH Act Privacy, Security, Enforcement Rule Modifications NPRM

On July 1, 2010, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed review of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) entitled: Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act [HITECH Act](RIN:  0991-AB57).  The NPRM was received at OMB for review on April 12, 2010.  It likely will be published in the Federal Register imminently. Legal authority for the NPRM is in Sections 13400 to 13410 of Subtitle D (Privacy) of the HITECH Act, which was enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5), enacted on February 17, 2009. Those sections cover:…

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Reported Breaches of 500 or More Individuals up to 93 and Affecting Over 2.5 Million Individuals; Enforcement and Penalties

As of Friday, June 4, 2010, 93 breaches affecting 500 or more individuals have been reported on the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Web site. The total number affected has gone beyond 2-1/2 million individuals today, and stands at 2,565,352 individuals. Of the 87 breaches involving breach of hard copy or electronic protected health information, 26% involve hard copy or paper records and 74% records on electronic media or devices. Overall, 71% of the 93 breaches involve theft or loss of records, many of which might have been avoided by appropriate securing of hard copy records and electronic media and devices. Below we remind readers of the Department of Health…

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OCR Stepping Up HIPAA Security Enforcement

Health Data Management (HDM) reported today, May 12, that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is going to strengthen HIPAA Security Rule enforcement, based on statements made on Tuesday, May 11 by the OCR Deputy Director for Privacy, Susan McAndrew, at the Safeguarding Health Information conference in Washington, DC, co-sponsored by OCR and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  “To boost enforcement of the security rule, OCR has added investigators in 10 regional offices, McAndrew notes,” as reported by Joe Goedert in the HDM article, “OCR Boosting Security Enforcement,” which is available online. This report comes several days after…

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HHS Publishes Proposed Rule for Electronic Health Record Incentive Program

HHS published today in the Federal Register:  “Medicare and Medicaid Programs–Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; Proposed Rule.”  75 FR 1844-2011.  Comments on this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) may be submitted to HHS no later than March 15, 2010.  Here is the Summary from the NPRM: “This proposed rule would implement the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)(Public Law 111-5) that provide incentive payments to eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs that adopt and meaningfully use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology.  The proposed rule would specify the initial criteria an EP and eligible hospital must meet in order…

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CMS Issues New and Updated HIPAA and HITECH Act FAQs: EHR Incentives

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) periodically issues new and updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).  HIPAA.com will periodically reproduce new and updated Questions and Answers pertaining to HIPAA Administrative Simplification standards and implementation specifications and to HITECH Act provisions that will be of interest to its readers.  The FAQ [ID#9844] that follows is new, published by CMS on August 13, 2009. Question:  Are physicians who practice in hospital-based ambulatory clinics eligible to receive the Recovery Act’s Medicare or Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments. Answer:  Hospital-based eligible professionals are ineligible for the EHR incentive payments under both Medicare and Medicaid.  Our [Department of Health and Human Services] forthcoming NPRM…

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