HIPAA Expansion Regs Released
The new HIPAA regulations, expanding requirements to subcontractors and business associates of health providers, could entail stiff fines for violations. The regulations cover billing companies and accounting firms in the same way that doctors and hospitals are currently covered. Additionally, the proposed regulations allow covered entities to contact patients without their prior approval as long as they include it in their notice of privacy practices. Ms. Hartsfield noted that the provision is likely to get a lot of comments, particularly on how big an exception the companies should get.