HHS seeks input on HIPAA changes

HHS' Office for Civil Rights is seeking input on how to modify HIPAA to promote value-based care.

OCR issued the request for information Dec. 12, inviting stakeholders to weigh in on existing HIPAA provisions that may limit or discourage information sharing. The civil rights office's goal is to update HIPAA in a way that allows information sharing that helps coordinate care and support patients' ability to access protected health information.

Specifically, the RFI asks for comments on:

  • Encouraging information sharing for treatment and care coordination
  • Facilitating parental involvement in care
  • Addressing the opioid crisis and serious mental illness
  • Accounting for disclosures of PHI for treatment, payment and healthcare operations
  • Changing the current requirement for certain providers to make a good-faith effort to obtain an acknowledgment of receipt of the notice of privacy practices

"We are looking for candid feedback about how the existing HIPAA regulations are working in the real world and how we can improve them," OCR Director Roger Severino said in a news release. "We are committed to pursuing the changes needed to improve quality of care and eliminate undue burdens on covered entities while maintaining robust privacy and security protections for individuals' health information."

Public comments are due Feb. 11, 2019.

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