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HIPAA

Providers Need to Take the “Necessary Steps” for HIPAA Compliance

On February 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement and released the opinion of the Administrative Law Judge who found in favor of the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) determining that a home health agency, Lincare, Inc. (“Lincare”) violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule requiring Lincare, to pay $239,800 in civil money penalties. All covered entities should review the opinion and the OCR’s comments and begin taking any and all “necessary steps” to ensure HIPAA compliance and to make certain protected health information is adequately protected.

Health Care Information Alliance Formed

McKesson Corp., Allscripts, athenahealth Inc., Greenway Medical Technologies Inc., RelayHealth, and Cerner announced at the 2013 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society annual meeting in New Orleans that they have banded together to form an independent trade association.

Long-Awaited HIPAA Rule Finally Arrives

On January 17, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services released the long-awaited final rule modifying the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. The final rule, at 563 pages, is sure to cause a spike in sales of printer toner.

OCR De-Identificiation Guidance

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently released guidance on de-identification of protected health information pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule. The guidance discusses in detail the two methods that satisfy the de-identification standard of the Privacy Rule—the Expert Determination and Safe Harbor methods. While these methods are not new, the guidance provides a clearer picture of OCR’s expectations.

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