The Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Services (HHS) says consumers should know who has electronic access to their personal health information.

The HHS civil rights office is preparing to propose a rule that could require entities that keep personal health information to document the “particular persons” that viewed the health information, officials say.

Entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability of 1996 (HIPAA) Act Privacy Rule and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 already are supposed to track personal health data access, but they do not have to share access information with patients, officials say.

The proposed rule will place “a reasonable burden on covered entities and business associates,” officials say.

- Allison Bell

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