The Department of Health and Human Services has HIPAA rule changes finalized in a document titled Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules.
The Abstract of the Rules reads: “The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights will issue final rules to modify the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules as necessary to implement the privacy, security, enforcement, and breach notification provisions of Subtitle D of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (Title XIII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), and will modify the HIPAA Privacy Rule as required by section 105 of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act [GINA] of 2008.”
These revisions have been deemed necessary due to the large number of people, including business associates, who have been impacted by privacy and security breaches. About 60 percent of these breaches involve electronic devices or media, such as laptops, tablets, and smart phones. Release of the modified HIPAA rules will hopefully heighten awareness of, and increase attention on electronic privacy and security so as to avoid further breaches by encrypting protected health information on said portable electronic devices.
The final rules, expected to be published in the Federal Register soon, will presumably include new data breach enforcement, as well as penalty requirements.
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