A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning the accounting of disclosures requirement under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, is available for public comment. The proposed rule would give people the right to get a report on who has electronically accessed their protected health information.
The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is proposing changes to Privacy Rule, pursuant to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. HITECH is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“This proposed rule represents an important step in our continued efforts to promote accountability across the health care system, ensuring that providers properly safeguard private health information,” Georgina Verdugo, OCR director, stated in a press release. “We need to protect peoples’ rights so that they know how their health information has been used or disclosed.”
People would obtain this information by requesting an access report, which would document the particular persons who electronically accessed and viewed their protected health information. Although covered entities are currently required by the HIPAA Security Rule to track access to electronic protected health information, they are not required to share this information with people.
The proposed rule requires an accounting of more detailed information for certain disclosures that are most likely to affect a person’s rights or interests. The proposed changes to the accounting requirements provide information of value to individuals while placing a reasonable burden on covered entities and business associates.