Type: Articles Published
On Friday, January 25, 2013, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the long-awaited HITECH final rule – Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; Other Modifications to the HIPAA Rules (the ‘‘Final Rule’’). After more than a three-year wait from the passage of the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (the ‘‘Act’’ or ‘‘HITECH Act’’), the Final Rule aims to implement the changes to federal privacy and security obligations triggered by the Act, which changes were first addressed in the July 14, 2010, proposed regulations (the ‘‘Proposed Rule’’). This article presents some of the Final Rule’s key changes and clarifications to the existing Privacy, Security, and Breach Notifications rules set forth in the Final Rule, and reflects the significant impact the Final Rule will have on overall compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
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