The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Privacy Rule provides federal protections for an individual’s health information held by covered entities and their business associates. The act gives patients rights to that information while also permitting disclosure of health information needed for patient care and other important purposes.

The Office for Civil Rights enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule, which sets administrative, physical and technical safeguards to be used by covered entities and their business associates to assure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of electronic protected health information.

For more information on HIPAA visit http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/index.html

In January of 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services released the HIPPA Final Omnibus Rule, which significantly affected how medical practices can use and disclose patients’ Protected Health Information (PHI). Review a comprehensive summary of the Omnibus Rule, created by NCMS Partner Poyner Spruill so that you can understand key provisions of the rule and how they may impact your organization.

HIPAA Resources

  1. The AMA Toolkit offers a business associate agreement and notice of privacy practices templates. It also includes FAQs on encryption of patient data.
  2. Medical Mutual offers the HIPAA Final Rule “Survival Guide” — a collection of compliance forms, policies, and checklists — to its members.
  3. NCMS Partner Poyner Spruill offers a Business Associate template for purchase at $49.

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