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Sweeping Changes With HIPAA – Is your medical practice aware?

HIPAA Security and ComplianceMedical practitioners around the region are eagerly waiting, maybe a bit anxiety-laden, for the new set of regulations in healthcare. On Thursday, January 17, 2013, the HHS issued their modifications to the HIPAA privacy, security, enforcement and breach notification rules. The HHS comments that these are “sweeping rules”.

The new changes greatly enhance a patient’s privacy rights and protections, but also strengthen the ability for the HHS to vigorously enforce the HIPAA privacy and security protections, said Leon Rodriguez, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights in a recent article we learned about in the Healthcare IT News online magazine.

Since the implementation of HITECH, the mandate has been to do something far broader in focus than merely specific incident investigations. According to Rodriguez, the HHS has moved into an area of assertive enforcement.

The HHS will continue to levy monetary penalties to those who violate HIPAA regulations. Physicians, hospitals, health plans and state social service agencies are all in the sights of the HHS. Rodriguez mentioned that these monetary settlements will send a message to the industry regarding the importance of safeguarding patient records and privacy of information.

For additional information we welcome you to visit Tom Sullivan’s article in Healthcare IT news. Tom Sullivan reports on Government Health IT and is someone we pay close attention to regarding healthcare IT and how our IT services to healthcare and medical facilities are delivered to our clients.

When was the last time you had someone in to discuss your healthcare IT and ensure that your practice is taking all the required steps to provide compliance with HIPAA and HITECH standards? Not sure? Give us a call and our healthcare IT specialists can help and also ensure you are safeguarding your patient records properly and that all records are protected.

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