Breach Notification Final Rule on Hold

The Department of Health and Human Services has withdrawn the final rule on breach notification it submitted for review to the Office of Management and Budget. HHS had entered the rule with OMB on May 14, in what typically would be the final step before its publication. HHS withdrew the rule to “allow for further consideration, given the Department’s experience to date in administering the regulations,” it wrote in a notice posted to...

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OCR Rule Exempts PHI “Conduits”

Organizations that serve as “conduits” of protected health information are not covered by the draft privacy and security modifications to HIPAA, according to an HHS lawyer and privacy expert. Some stand-alone PHR firms such as Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault would also be exempt in certain situations. HHS’s Office for Civil Rights lawyer Adam Greene described the exemption during a July 9 meeting with the Health IT Policy...

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OCR Proposes Change in Disclosure of Deceased Patient Records

A small provision in the recently released draft modifications to the HIPAA privacy rule could have a big impact for families and caregivers seeking the health records of deceased patients. Section 164.510(b) of the proposed regulation would allow covered entities to disclose protected health information to family members and others who were involved in an individual’s care or payment for care, regardless of whether the patient (or...

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Tracking Changes in the Meaningful Use Rule

How did the objectives and measures change in the meaningful use final rule? A complete comparison of each objective and measure appears in the attached PDF file. Overall, the final rule maintains the same objectives and measures of the proposed rule. Two objectives were added, and two were removed, deferred to stage 2. However, the final rule allows participants in the EHR incentive program to meet fewer objectives in stage 1 than...

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Final Rule on Meaningful Use Released

The Department of Health and Human Services released the final rule on the meaningful use EHR incentive program this morning. A pre-publication copy–864 pages long–is available in advance of official publication. Publication in the Federal Register will occur July 28, and the rule becomes effective 60 days later. HHS also released a prepublication copy of the final rule on standards and certification criteria, which supports the...

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