Human Resources
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HHS Proposes HITECH Accounting Rule for Disclosures of PHI

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed an expanded rule for entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to account for disclosures of protected health information (PHI), as provided in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). HHS issued its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) on May 31, 2011.

If finalized in its current form, the new HITECH accounting rule would require HIPAA-covered entities, including employer group health plans, and business associates to:

  • Comply with the modifications to the existing PHI disclosure accounting rule by no later than 240 days after publication of the final regulation; and
  • Provide an individual with an access report upon request: 1) beginning January 1, 2013, for any electronic designated record set system acquired after January 1, 2009; and 2) beginning January 1, 2014, for any electronic designated record set system acquired on or before January 1, 2009.

The attached Aon Hewitt bulletin discusses:

  • The impact of the proposed HITECH accounting rule on employer group heath plans;
  • The background of the HITECH accounting rule;
  • HHS’s proposed modifications to the existing right to an accounting of PHI disclosures;
  • The content of a PHI disclosure accounting;
  • HHS’s proposed new right of individuals to an access report;
  • The content of the proposed access report;
  • The new procedural rules for PHI accountings and access reports; and
  • The new notice requirement.

HHS Proposes HITECH Accounting Rule for Disclosures of PHI