Health Law Checkup - October 2010
HHS Withdraws HIPAA Breach Notification Proposed Final Rule
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that it was withdrawing from administrative review the proposed Final Rule for Breach Notification for Unsecured Protected Health Information, which was issued pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The HITECH Act requires hospitals, physicians, health plans and other specified handlers of patient health records to notify patients if their personal health information is released in a data security breach. It also gives the federal government the power to impose significant penalties on entities if a breach occurs.