Federal regulators say they want to adjust personal health information privacy regulations to make coordinating patients’ care easier for health plans, health care providers and families.
The regulations also could reduce the amount of time health plans, life insurers, hospitals and other entities that store people’s health records have to give people access to their health records.
The Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has posted a new set of draft regulations on the HHS website.
The new draft regulations would change the Privacy Rule regulation that interprets the privacy provisions in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
- A preliminary version of the draft HHS privacy regulations is available here.
- An earlier article about HIPAA privacy rules is available here.
HHS is still in the process of getting the draft regulations published in the Federal Register, a federal government regulatory publication. Members of the public will have 60 days after the official Federal Register publication date to submit comments.
A HIPAA Privacy Primer
The HIPAA Privacy Rule sets privacy protection requirements for “protected health information,” or PHI.
The requirements apply direct to “covered entities,” such as hospitals, health insurers and life insurance companies’ underwriting teams.
Many of the requirements also apply to the covered entities’ business associates. Insurance agents and other financial professionals who collect PHI may be covered entities’ business associates.