Health Law Checkup - February 2010
HITECH Act Changes Are Effective This Month


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA") required, among other things, that the Department of Health and Human Services ("DHHS") issue regulations that addressed how "covered entities" (i.e., health plans, health care providers, and health care clearinghouses) must protect individual health information ("protected health information or PHI") and electronic PHI. Covered entities have been complying with these rules since their enactment.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (the "HITECH Act"), which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, made some significant changes to the privacy and security rules. Most of the changes are effective on or after February 17, 2010, although some of the requirements have earlier or later effective dates.
The new requirements under the HITECH Act are described in this article.

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