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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

posted on Fri, Mar 1 2013 12:00 am by Mid-States Region

he Network was recently contacted by a state official who had questions about recent changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that were part of the HIPAA omnibus final rule. The official specifically asked how the changes applied to her state’s health department.

The HIPAA omnibus final rule was released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on January 17, 2013. The final rule includes modifications to HIPAA that are required by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), as well as several other modifications to improve HIPAA’s efficiency and effectiveness. The final rule took effect on March 26, 2013 and entities subject to its requirements must comply by September 23, 2013.

The Network provided the official with the Network fact sheet on the HIPAA omnibus final rule, which summarizes the sections of HIPAA that were affected and how they will be modified.

The Network also discussed several possible ways that modifications to HIPAA that were passed as part of the omnibus final rule might affect a state health department. Read more.

  • In health departments classified as hybrid entities, the department as a whole, and not merely the health care component, are responsible for complying with all business associate agreements and other organizational requirements. Departments must evaluate and redraft all of their business associate contracts to ensure they comply with the Privacy and Security Rules changes.
  • Health departments must redraft their notice of privacy statement to comply with new Privacy Rule changes.
  • Allows health departments to disclose proof of immunization records for minors directly to schools with oral permission from the parent or guardian.

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