HHS proposes new HIPAA rule for sending attachments for prior authorizations

HHS has proposed a new rule under HIPAA that would allow providers to electronically transfer attachments and sign documents to streamline prior authorizations and other healthcare claims transactions.

CMS said the measure would reduce administrative healthcare costs by an estimated $454 million annually. 

"Healthcare providers are often forced to use manual processes such as mail, fax, or internet web portals when they respond to requests from health plans, leading to delays and less time for patient care," CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in a Dec. 19 agency news release. "These important steps would promote more consistent and reliable communications among the partners involved in healthcare transactions, improving the care experience for all."

Public comments for the new rule are due by March 22. The American Hospital Association supports the establishment of the new standard.

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