Health Information Management

Make sense of the accounting of disclosures proposed rule

HIM-HIPAA Insider, August 9, 2011

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HHS has released the long-awaited notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on the changes to the HIPAA accounting of disclosures. The rule, formally titled "HIPAA Privacy Rule Accounting of Disclosures under the HITECH Act," was printed in the May 31 Federal Register.

The proposed rule contains a few anticipated changes, as well as a couple of surprises, such as the new right to an "access report," says Frank Ruelas, director of compliance and risk management at Maryvale Hospital in Phoenix and principal of HIPAA Boot Camp in Casa Grande, AZ.
 
The final rule will likely bring even more changes, and HIM is going to play a crucial role in complying with the new regulations. From working out a process to handle the access reports, ensuring reports are complete and compliant, and dealing with the requests that will eventually come in from patients, "HIM folks will be the superstars," Ruelas says.
 
Don't panic, however. While it is best to start preparing now, providers aren't required to comply with the proposed rule, which means they have some time to figure out how to manage the new requirements.
 
Editor’s note: To read more, access this article in the August issue of Medical Records Briefing.



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