HHS proposes HIPAA changes: 7 things to know 

HHS' Office for Civil Rights released proposed modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule Dec. 10.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is part of HHS' Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care initiative, which analyzes federal regulations that interfere with healthcare providers and health plans' efforts to better coordinate care for patients.

The proposed changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule include strengthening individuals' access to their own health information, facilitating greater family and caregiver involvement in the care for individuals and access to their PHI during emergencies or health crises and reducing administrative burdens on HIPAA-covered providers and health plans.

Seven things to know:

1. The proposed changes aim to strengthen patients' access to their PHI by permitting individuals to inspect their PHI in person, including taking notes or using other personal resources to view and capture images of their records.

2. HIPAA-covered entities' current 30-day required response time to give individuals access to their PHI would be cut to 15 days.

3. The modifications would create a pathway for individuals to direct sharing of their PHI in the EHR among covered healthcare providers and health plans.

4. The proposed rule would require specifications for when electronic PHI must be provided to the individual at no charge.

5. The changes would require HIPAA-covered entities to post estimated fee schedules on their websites for both PHI access and disclosures with an individual's valid authorization as well as provide individualized estimates of fees for an individual's request for copies of PHI.

6. The modifications would eliminate the requirement of obtaining an individual's written acknowledgment if receiving a provider's Notice of Privacy Practices.

7. Public comments on the NPRM will be due 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

Click here to view proposed rules.


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