Thursday, May 6, 2010

HHS Requests Information on Disclosures of Protected Health Information

In the May 3, 2010 issue of the Federal Register, the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services has issued a request for information regarding the implementation of the Heath Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). HHS requests information to help them understand the interests of individuals regarding the disclosure of their protected health information (PHI) and the administrative burdens that would be placed on healthcare and business entities covered under the act in order to account fro such disclosures.

HIPAA-covered entities are currently required to provide an account of certain PHI disclosures to a patient upon request. The HITECH Act would expand this rule to require covered entities to account for certain disclosures of PHI contained in a patient's electronic health record. HHS is seeking information from the public to assist in the drafting of this expanded rule.

The Federal Register announcement includes 9 questions that they would like commenters to answer. A list of the questions, along with information on how to submit comments can be found here:

Comments are due by May 18, 2010

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