NU Online News Service, March 22, 10:15 a.m. — Washington
Insurers and employers are withholding full support from the revised medical privacy rule issued Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Donald Young, president of the Health Insurance Association of America, Washington, says the new rule responds to some of HIAA’s concerns over cost and complexity, but he also questions whether relatively minor changes can solve the problem.
“A better approach would be to create a single national privacy standard,” Young says. “A federal rule that preempts state privacy requirements can safeguard patient privacy and reduce burdensome compliance costs.”
James A. Klein, president of the American Benefits Council, Washington, an employers group, says he is “encouraged” by the changes but continues to have concerns.
He agrees with Young that Congress should adopt a single national standard to eliminate conflicting and duplicative state laws.
In addition, Klein says, he believes the controversial “minimum necessary” standard needs further revision.
“The new proposed changes clarify the standard as it applies to conversations among health professionals,” he says.