HHS Issues HIPAA NPRM for Unique Health Plan Identifier and One Year Delay for ICD-10 Code Set Compliance

April 10, 2012.  Yesterday, the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) promulgated a notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) entitled:  Administrative Simplification:  Adoption of a Standard for a Unique Health Plan Identifier; Addition to the National Provider Identifier Requirements; and a Change to the Compliance Date for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Medical Data Code Sets. The NPRM will be published in the Federal Register on April 17, 2012. Here is the NPRM summary:  “This proposed rule would implement section 1104 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hereinafter referred to as the Affordable Care Act) by establishing new requirements for administrative transactions that…

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OCR Announces November 2011 Start of Privacy and Security Compliance Audits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for privacy and security enforcement under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act provisions. OCR has announced that it is initiating compliance audits beginning this month, as authorized by the HITECH Act.  This action precedes the imminent release of the Final HIPAA/HITECH Act Privacy, Security, Breach Notification, and Enforcement Rules, expected before the end of 2011, and will strengthen enforcement and accountability for compliance with existing and forthcoming Rule modifications.   To avoid the consequences of potential penalties for non-compliance, covered entities and business…

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EHR Incentive and Certification Criteria Final Rules Published in Federal Register

The EHR Incentive and Certification final rules were published in the Federal Register this morning, July 28, 2010.  HIPAA.com provides the title, summary, effective date, and URL for each below. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “42 CFR Parts 412, 413, 422, and 495;  Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; Final Rule, Federal Register, 75(144), Wednesday, July 28, 2010, pp. 44313-44588. Summary:  This final rule implements the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)(Public Law 111-5) that provide incentive payments to eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs…

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Access Control: Encryption and Decryption-What to Do and How to Do It

In our series on the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Security Rule, this is the fourth implementation specification for the Technical Safeguard Standard, Access Control. This implementation specification is addressable. Addressable does not mean “optional.”  Rather, an addressable implementation specification means that a covered entity must use reasonable and appropriate measures to meet the standard. As we noted in earlier postings on HIPAA.com, business associates of covered entities will be required to comply with the Security Rule safeguard standards, beginning February 17, 2010. This requirement is one of the HITECH Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009. What to Do Implement…

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Access Control: Automatic Logoff-What to Do and How to Do It

In our series on the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Security Rule, this is the third implementation specification for the Technical Safeguard Standard, Access Control. This implementation specification is addressable. Addressable does not mean “optional.”  Rather, an addressable implementation specification means that a covered entity must use reasonable and appropriate measures to meet the standard. As we noted in earlier postings on HIPAA.com, business associates of covered entities will be required to comply with the Security Rule safeguard standards, beginning February 17, 2010. This requirement is one of the HITECH Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009. What to Do Implement…

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Access Control: Emergency Access Procedure-What to Do and How to Do It

In our series on the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Security Rule, this is the second implementation specification for the Technical Safeguard Standard, Access Control. This implementation specification is required. As we noted in earlier postings on HIPAA.com, business associates of covered entities will be required to comply with the Security Rule safeguard standards, beginning February 17, 2010. This requirement is one of the HITECH Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009. What to Do Establish and implement as needed procedures for obtaining necessary electronic protected health information during an emergency. How to Do It Emergency access refers to loss of…

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Access Control: Unique User Identification-What to Do and How to Do It

In our series on the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Security Rule, this is the first implementation specification for the Technical Safeguard Standard, Access Control. This implementation specification is required. As we noted in earlier postings on HIPAA.com, business associates of covered entities will be required to comply with the Security Rule safeguard standards, beginning February 17, 2010. This requirement is one of the HITECH Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009. What to Do Assign a unique name and/or number for identifying and tracking user identity. How to Do It The covered entity should establish a policy whereby its Security…

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Access Control: What This HIPAA Security Rule Technical Safeguard Standard Means

This is the first Technical Safeguard Standard of the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Security Rule. It has four implementation specifications:  unique user identification; emergency access procedure; automatic logoff; and encryption and decryption. The first two are required; the last two are addressable. Addressable does not mean “optional.” Rather, an addressable implementation specification means that a covered entity must use reasonable and appropriate measures to meet the standard. As we have noted in earlier postings on HIPAA.com, business associates of covered entities will be required to comply with the Security Rule safeguard standards, beginning February 17, 2010. This requirement is one of the HITECH Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment…

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Information Access Management-What This HIPAA Security Rule Administrative Safeguard Standard Means

This is the fourth Administrative Safeguard Standard of the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Security Rule. It has three implementation specifications: Isolating Healthcare Clearinghouse Functions; Access Authorization; and Access Establishment and Modification. The first is required; the second and third are addressable. Addressable does not mean “optional.” Rather, an addressable implementation specification means that a covered entity must use reasonable and appropriate measures to meet the standard. Further, as we noted in a posting last week, with enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, business associates also will be required to comply with the Security Rule standards, effective February 17, 2010. The covered entity is…

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