HHS Proposes Changes to HIPAA Privacy Rule

HHS issued proposed regulations that, if finalized, would amend certain HIPAA Privacy Rules.

February 03, 2021

In January 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued proposed regulations that, if finalized, would amend certain HIPAA Privacy Rules. With a regulatory freeze currently in effect, HHS will review and may modify these proposed regulations in the coming weeks. Nevertheless, they provide insight into HHS’s evolving views on certain HIPAA protections, particularly in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We summarize below the provisions most relevant to employer-sponsored group health plans.

These proposed regulations, if finalized, would, among other things:

  • Expressly permit individuals to take notes, videos, and photos of their protected health information (PHI), including PHI maintained by a group health plan;
  • Shorten the time frame for providing access to PHI upon request from 30 days to 15 days;
  • Include provisions that would require transmission of PHI, upon request, to third-party applications that are not covered by HIPAA;
  • Limit fees that covered entities can charge for providing access to PHI;
  • Eliminate the requirement that individuals provide written acknowledgment of receipt of a Notice of Privacy Practices; and
  • Loosen certain restrictions on PHI disclosures for care coordination and case management.

Upcoming Webinar

We will provide a more detailed discussion of these proposed regulations in our next regulatory and compliance webinar on February 23, 2021 at 12:00PM ET. Members can register here.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns about these or other regulatory and compliance issues, please contact us.

We provide this material for informational purposes only; it is not a substitute for legal advice.

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