HIPAA Omnibus Bill Is Here

Anesthesia Compliance Consultants has summarized the major provisions of the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, which will be effective March 26, 2013 with a compliance date of September 23, 2013. This will affect anesthesia practices in many ways.


1.  Final modifications to HIPAA

  •   Make business associates of covered entities directly liable for compliance with HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules’ requirements.
  •   Strengthen the limitations on the use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI) for marketing and fundraising purposes, and prohibit the sale of PHI without individual authorization.
  •   Expand individuals’ rights to receive electronic copies of their health information and to restrict disclosures to a health plan concerning treatment for which the individual has paid out of pocket in full.
  •   Require modifications to, and redistribution of, a covered entity’s notice of privacy practices.
  •   Modify the individual authorization and other requirements to facilitate research and disclosure of child immunization proof to schools, and to enable access to decedent information by family members or others.
  •   Adopt the additional HITECH Act enhancements to the Enforcement Rule such as the provisions addressing enforcement of noncompliance with the HIPAA Rules due to willful neglect.

2.  Final rule adopting changes to the HIPAA Enforcement Rule to incorporate the increased and tiered civil money penalty structure provided by the HITECH Act, originally published as an interim final rule.


3. Final rule on Breach Notification for Unsecured PHI under the HITECH Act, which replaces the breach notification rule’s “harm” threshold with a more objective standard and supplants an interim final rule.


4. Final rule modifying the HIPAA Privacy Rule as required by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) to prohibit most health plans from using or disclosing genetic information for underwriting purposes, which was published as a proposed rule in 2009.


Anesthesia Compliance Consultants will send out a series of newsletters to help you understand the ramifications of the new rule that you must be prepared for with changes to Business Associate Agreements, Breach Notification and increased monetary fines and penalties for violations.