HHS Delays HIPAA Enforcement for Certain Laboratories

The Office for Civil Rights at HHS has announced an indefinite delay in enforcement of a requirement that certain laboratories covered by HIPAA revise their notices of privacy practices.

The requirement was originally included in the HIPAA omnibus rule announced by HHS in January and set to go into effect today. HIPAA requires covered organizations to change their notices of privacy practices when there has been a change in privacy practices, such as the changes stipulated by the omnibus rule.

Because HHS anticipates publishing an amendment to HIPAA regarding patients' rights to access test reports directly from certain laboratories both covered by and exempt from the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988, HHS is delaying enforcement of the current requirement to update privacy notices as the privacy notices for these labs may need to change again in the near future.

The delay will apply to laboratories that are currently not required to provide patients with access to their laboratory test results under HIPAA. The delay will not apply to laboratories that operate as part of a hospital or other larger entity.

More Articles on HIPAA:

New HHS Website Explains, Advocates for "Meaningful" Patient Consent for Data Exchange
16 Questions to Assess a Hospital's Legal Compliance
17 Days Until HIPAA: Key Changes and Must-Take Steps for Every Provider

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