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April 16, 2014

HHS Releases HIPAA and HITECH ACT Mega-Rule

On January 17, 2013 the Department of Health and Human Services released an omnibus rule making changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) regulations related to privacy and security.  The new final rule expands requirements beyond covered entities (health care providers, health plans, and entities that process health insurance claims) to business associates of covered entities in order to provide additional protections.  These changes represent some of the most significant changes to the rule since it was first implemented fifteen years ago.

This mega rule also seeks to finalize privacy and security regulations related to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH Act”) as well as implement certain provisions of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”).

The final rule is effective on March 26, 2013; covered entities and business associates must comply with the rules by September 23, 2013.  A copy of the rule can be found here.

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About the Author

Medicare Reimbursement and Health Policy Director

Anna Schwamlein Howard is the Medicare Reimbursement & Health Policy Director in the firm’s Health Government Relations team.

A nationally recognized authority on health care reform issues, Anna has considerable experience in government relations and regulatory affairs. Specifically, she has extensive knowledge with the Medicare Modernization Act, medical privacy and prescription drug issues, Medicare physician payment legislation, the Affordable Care Act, and other federal health issues impacting the lives of older Americans.

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