HIPAA Blog

[ Tuesday, September 13, 2011 ]

 

HIPAA Rumblings from HHS: HHS just held its Consumer Health IT Summit, with a handful of major players in HIT and assorted government flacks. Three relatively big announcements:

CLIA: HHS has proposed a new rule to allow individuals to access PHI that is held by a clinical lab. Under original HIPAA, individuals did not have the right to access their lab results or other PHI that was held by a CLIA-certified lab (basically, most medical clinical labs). They really had to get that info from their doctors. I don't know why this was the rule, but I suspect the concern was that patients won't really know what the information means unless their doctor looks at it, interprets it, and explains it. I don't know whether this intermediation is a good thing, or if the new disintermediation is better. But the CLIA lab exception to the individual's right to access is going away.

PHR Model Notice: The HITECH Act made providers of personal health records (PHRs) subject to HIPAA, but it's still not clear what that means. However, HHS has not presented a form of Notice of Privacy Practices (NoPP) for PHRs.

New Head of OCR: There's a new Sheriff at OCR: Leon Rodriguez, who is a lawyer with a prosecutorial background. He comes to OCR from DOJ, but spent most of his career as a prosecutor of one sort or another, with a private practice healthcare litigation stint at Ober Kaler. Interesting to consider what that protends.

Hat tips: Bob Coffield and Theresa Defino.

Jeff [10:45 AM]

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