January 22, 2013

Final HITECH Act Omnibus Rules Issued

Holland & Knight Privacy Blog
Shannon Britton Hartsfield

Two and a half years after publishing the proposed version of the rules, the federal Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights released a pre-publication version of its final rules. These rules implement portions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009.  The regulations are actually a group of four final rules that were combined to reduce the compliance impact on affected entities.  The four main topics covered include:

  • HIPAA and HITECH Act modifications
  • adoption of HIPAA Enforcement Rule changes
  • finalization of breach notification rules for unsecured protected health information
  • final HIPAA changes related to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

Covered entities and their business associates will need to study the rules carefully to come into compliance by the applicable deadlines. The rules will, among other things, require changes to business associate agreements, policies and procedures, and notices of privacy practices. Visit the HHS' Omnibus HIPAA Rulemaking section for more information

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