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“Sweeping Change” Comes to HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules

January 23, 2013

With the release of the HHS Omnibus Final Privacy and Security Rules last week, it’s apparent more than ever how important documentation is in protecting your practice from HIPAA Privacy and Security leaks. As we busily prepare for our one-on-one HIPAA Compliant Policy Writing Intensive workshop this week, we want to summarize some of the major points of this new legislation:

  1. The new rules increase the responsibility for HIPAA privacy and security placing the burden of proof on the covered entity or business associate. The best defense in this situation is a thorough understanding of where your risks are, ongoing actions that mitigate risk and excellent documentation.
  2. The Breach Notification Rule has been modified stating that all breaches require mandatory notification unless the breach has a low probability of resulting in the release of patient protected health information.
  3. HHS Office of Civil Rights, under the direction of Leon Rodriguez, has greater ability to enforce HIPAA Security and Privacy protections on covered entities and/or their business associates.

These expanded rules take effect on March 26, 2013 with all covered entities and business associates required to be in compliance by September 23, 2013. Penalties for non-compliance have been increased to a maximum of $1.5 million per incident depending on the level of negligence involved.

If you were unable to attend our Policy Writing workshop this month but want to be put on a notification list for details about our March workshop, send an email to us at

We also wanted to remind you of the 2012 Meaningful Use attestation deadline. Eligible professionals have until February 28 to perform their MU attestation for the 90-day period ending December 31, 2012. If you need any assistance with your attestation process, give us a call. We’re available to answer your questions.

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Topics: EHR Incentive, HIPAA Security Policies, Meaningful Use | Comments Off on “Sweeping Change” Comes to HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules

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