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HIPAA Final Rules Deadline Announced

Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, January 3, 2011

The deadline for the final rule on modifications to HIPAA privacy, security, and enforcement rules is March, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) writes in its semi-annual regulatory update—published last month in the Federal Register.

This is the most specific timeline federal officials have given regarding HIPAA and HITECH rules in limbo.

In December, a senior official with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) said the HIPAA privacy and security rule enforcer plans to release final rules regarding HITECH and HIPAA "in 2011."

Adam H. Greene, senior health information technology and privacy specialist at OCR, told an audience at the "2010 ONC Update" that he did not know a specific time of 2011 the rules would be released but added they would be published "contemporaneously." OCR's intention is to avoid staggering compliance dates.

The rules to which Greene alluded are:

  • Breach notification
  • Enforcement
  • HIPAA HITECH (modifications to privacy and security rules)

Greene also said a proposed rule on accounting of disclosures of EHRs will be released in 2011. HITECH calls for OCR to expand the HIPAA accounting disclosures provision to add treatment, payment, and healthcare operations disclosures when they're through an EHR. HITECH calls on the HHS secretary to balance the interest of individuals who want to learn the information versus the burden on covered entities.


Dom Nicastro is a contributing writer. He edits the Medical Records Briefings newsletter and manages the HIPAA Update Blog.

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1 comments on "HIPAA Final Rules Deadline Announced"


Stanley Nachimson (1/5/2011 at 7:22 PM)
Please note that the March date published in semi annual regulatory agenda is only an estimate and not a binding publication deadline. The remarks by Mr. Greene about "sometime in 2011" are the best guidance right now.