HHS encourages voluntary compliance with HIPAA

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) director Richard Campanelli says voluntary compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) medical privacy rule is the best way to protect health information. He also told a HIPAA workshop that the federal government’s enforcement of the regulation will be largely complaint-driven. Campanelli said most complaints about violations of the HIPAA privacy rule can be resolved easily. "OCR’s goal is not to maximize enforcement," he said. "Our goal is to protect personal health information." Campanelli says he recommends that patients register complaints with their health care providers before coming to the government with privacy violations.