The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced changes Jan. 17, 2013, designed to strengthen the privacy and security protections for health information established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
- Final modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Enforcement Rules mandated by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, and certain other modifications to improve the rules, which were issued as a proposed rule July 14, 2010. These modifications make business associates of covered entities directly liable for compliance with certain of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules’ requirements.
- Final rule adopting changes to the HIPAA Enforcement Rule to incorporate the increased and tiered civil money penalty structure provided by the HITECH Act, originally published as an interim final rule Oct. 30, 2009.
- Final rule on Breach Notification for Unsecured Protected Health Information under the HITECH Act, which replaces the breach notification rule’s “harm” threshold with a more objective standard and supplants an interim final rule published Aug. 24, 2009.
- Final rule modifying the HIPAA Privacy Rule as required by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) to prohibit most health plans from using or disclosing genetic information for underwriting purposes, which was published as a proposed rule Oct.7, 2009.