Compliance with New HIPAA and FTC Health Breach Notification Rules: What Healthcare Entities and Businesses Need to Know

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On August 24, 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") published an interim final rule amending Health Insurance Portability and Accountability ("HIPAA") regulations by adding provisions that require notice to patients and others of a "breach," or disclosure of unsecured protected health information ("PHI"), by HIPAA-covered entities and business associates (the "HIPAA Rule").1 A day later, the Federal Trade Commission published the Health Breach Notification Rule to address breach notification by personal health-records vendors (the "FTC Rule").2 These rules implement portions of the federal "stimulus package," known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA"), which was passed by Congress on February 17, 2009.

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