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Six Tips for Healthcare Providers About the New HIPAA Omnibus Rule
Date:6/17/2013

Burlington, Vt. (PRWEB) June 17, 2013

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted tough standards to strengthen the privacy and security protections for health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) with the final Omnibus Rule. These modifications enhance patients’ protection of the privacy of their health records and provide them with new rights to their health information, while also supporting the government’s ability to enforce the law.

For healthcare providers, psychologists, social workers and other health professionals and entities, understanding and adhering to these changes is essential, but can oftentimes be confusing and tedious to keep up with. Eileen Elliott, partner in the Burlington law firm Dunkiel, Saunders, Elliott, Raubvogel & Hand, focuses on health care law and offers the following six tips to help healthcare providers navigate the new HIPAA rule.

1.    Be familiar with the 2009 HITECH Act.
Most of the changes in the Omnibus Rule are not entirely new, and already exist under various proposed and interim rules under HIPAA and the HITECH Act. By understanding HITECH’s obligations regarding breach notification, the new rule will be less daunting.

The other interim or proposed rules folded into the Omnibus Rule include the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Enforcement Rules; rules incorporating the increased and tiered civil money structure; Breach Notification for Unsecured Protected Health Information; and the rule modifying the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

2.    Go over the enhanced breached notification requirements.
Strengthened breach reporting is one of the major effects of the Omnibus Rule. While the prior rule stated that breaches were not reported unless they posed a “significant risk of reputational, financial or other harm” to in
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