Thursday, May 19, 2011

When will we get the FINAL rules?

The long-awaited final rule that will strengthen HIPAA privacy and security safeguards to better protect electronic health information will be released by the end of the year, according to a senior health privacy official.

The regulation will combine the final version in an omnibus rule of security-related updates to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), said Sue McAndrew, deputy director for health information privacy at the Office of Civil Rights in the Health and Human Services Department. OCR is charged with overseeing and enforcing HIPAA.

She said OCR was “quite far along” and she anticipated the rule “certainly by the end of the year. Or one of us will be out the door by the end of the year, and I hope it’s the reg,” she said in jest, at a May 10 HIPAA conference, sponsored by OCR and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. “I really am hoping that we are now targeting months, if not weeks, for the publication,” she added.

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