New HITECH/HIPAA Proposed Rule Released Today

HHS has just released its proposed rule modifying the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules to implement the privacy, security, and certain enforcement provisions of subtitle D of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (Title XIII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009). The advance version of the rule can be accessed here; the official version will be published July 14. A press release should be available later this morning. Pursuant to the announcement of the proposed rulemaking on the HHS Privacy website, the proposed modifications to the HIPAA Rules include provisions extending the applicability of certain of the Privacy and Security Rules' requirements to the business associates of covered entities, establishing new limitations on the use and disclosure of protected health information for marketing and fundraising purposes, prohibiting the sale of protected health information, and expanding individuals' rights to access their information and to obtain restrictions on certain disclosures of protected health information to health plans. In addition, the proposed rule adopts provisions designed to strengthen and expand HIPAA's enforcement provisions. Importantly, HHS has stated that the new HIPAA regulations will not be enforced until 180 days after the final rule has become effective. Comments will be due on or about September 13, 2010. More to come . . .

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