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HHS Issues Proposed Changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule that would make certain changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. The proposed changes are primarily intended to support an individuals’ engagement in their care and remove barriers to coordinated care.

While many of the proposals primarily impact health care providers and their patients, several proposed provisions will also have an impact on employer-sponsored health plans. Specifically, the proposed rule would, among other things:

  • Strengthen individuals’ rights to access their own personal health information (PHI), including electronic information;
  • Improve information sharing for care coordination and case management for individuals; and
  • Modify the content requirements of the Notice of Privacy Practices to clarify individuals’ rights with respect to their PHI and how to exercise those rights.

Public comments on the proposed rule are currently being accepted through February 12, 2021. If finalized, the provisions in the final rule would take effect 60 days after publication. Covered entities would generally have 180 days from the effective date to comply.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.