Proposed Changes To HIPAA Privacy Rules

HIPAA Privacy Rules 2021


On January 21, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published proposed changes to HIPAA and HITECH. This was done to promote the push to value-based healthcare by making sure healthcare providers and health plans can better coordinate patient care. HHS is trying to amend regulations that may be a barrier to care and care management. Comments about the changes must be submitted by March 22, 2021.

Changes include eliminating the requirement that patients acknowledge receipt of the Notice of Privacy Practices. The NPP would also be revised to include how individuals can access their health information and for a covered entity to have a designated individual for patients to direct

Protected Health Information could be disclosed to ancillary and health-related services – such as social services agencies, home-based services, and other third parties – without having to get direct consent.

Individuals’ rights to access to their own PHI would be expanded so a patient could retrieve their own PHI, decreasing the time they must wait for information. It would be a 15-day deadline instead of the current 30-day deadline for a covered entity to provide information.

Fees for copying and providing records would also have to be posted on the website or provided upon request of the patient. This would clarify what is being charged by the covered entity.

If these rules are modified, this would be the first substantive change since 2013 and would affect all covered entities and some business associates.

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The information included here is for informational purposes only, is not exhaustive of all considerations when creating documents, is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be relied upon for that purpose. We strongly recommend you consult with an attorney and do not attempt to create your own documents.