HHS Delays Enforcement of HIPAA Transaction Rules Until April
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Office of E-Health Standards and Services has announced (pdf) it will not enforce operating rules under HIPAA until April 2013.
Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act required HHS to adopt a single set of operating rules for each HIPAA transaction standard to improve its utility and reduce administrative costs. The operating rules — intended to make the application of the HIPAA standards more consistent and efficient — took effect Jan. 1 for HIPAA-covered entities.
According to the release, HHS is delaying enforcement action to reduce the potential disruption to the healthcare industry. "Industry feedback suggests that HIPAA-covered entities have not reached a threshold whereby a majority of covered entities would be able to be in compliance with operating rules by Jan. 1, 2013," according to CMS' statement.
However, if an entity is the subject of a complaint, it will be required to provide evidence of its compliance or a good faith effort to become compliant before April.
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