HHS looks at changes to HIPAA enforcement

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking that changes rules related to investigations of breaches of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The proposed changes include expanding the enforcement rules to include all HIPAA administrative simplification provisions in addition to the privacy rule. Civil monetary penalties also could be imposed under the proposed rule change.

Clarification of the investigation process, the process for determining penalty amounts, the grounds for waiver, and the hearing and appeals process also is described in the notice.

HHS will take comments on the proposed rule through June 17, 2005. To see the proposed changes, go to www.gpoaccess.gov/fr. In the Quick Search section type: "page 20223," "45 CFR parts 160 and 164," "HIPAA," AND proposed rule. Under "fr18ap05P HIPAA Administrative Simplification; Enforcement," select the HTML file, the PDF file, or the summary.