On January 17, 2013, the Office for Civil Rights (‘‘OCR’’) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (‘‘HHS’’) published the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule (‘‘Final Rule’’) which OCR has trumpeted as carrying ‘‘the most sweeping changes to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules since they were first implemented.’’ The changes significantly impact the compliance obligations for covered entities, business associates and their subcontractors, particularly with respect to their use and disclosure of protected health information (‘‘PHI’’).
The amendments to HIPAA found in the Final Rule are extensive and address complex health care regulatory schemes. This article will focus on the substantial changes to the Privacy Rule and Security Rule (collectively referred to as the ‘‘Privacy and Security Rules’’) as they affect covered entities and companies servicing the health care industry with respect to their data privacy, security and breach notification policies and procedures.
Originally published in Health Insurance Report on 03/06/2013.
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