Long-Term Care

New HIPAA provisions: More important than you may think

Billing Alert for Long-Term Care, May 1, 2009

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Enforcement of HIPAA is about to get tougher due to provisions passed under the $787 billion ¬American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was signed into law February 17. The provisions call for stiffer penalties for privacy and security violations, changes to breach notification and accounting for disclosures requirements, and extended HIPAA security provisions to business ¬ associates (BA).

“Unfortunately, many long-term care providers are unaware of the HIPAA provisions or are not as concerned about the changes as they should be,” says Elizabeth Johnson, associate in the privacy and in-formation management practice at Hunton & Williams in Raleigh, NC.

When HIPAA’s privacy and security rules were implemented in 2003, many providers scrambled to ¬ensure compliance. However, the rules were not heavily enforced and, as a result, many providers grew lax about HIPAA compliance.

“The new HIPAA provisions add more teeth to the existing rules, and providers must be prepared for tighter scrutiny and robust enforcement,” says Brian Hickman, CPA, partner at BKD, LLP, in Springfield, MO.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Billing Alert for Long-Term Care.

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