HHS Proposed Changes to HIPPA Privacy Rule

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is proposing changes to the privacy rule which would allow individuals to know who has accessed their health information.

The proposed rule would give people the right to get a report on who has electronically accessed their protected health information. According to the OCR Director Georgina Verdugo,“this proposed rule represents an important step in our continued efforts to promote accountability across the health care system, ensuring that providers properly safeguard private health information. We need to protect peoples’ rights so that they know how their health information has been used or disclosed.”

There is a current security rule requirement by HIPPA to track access to electronic protected health information, however, they are not required to share this information with people. The proposed rule requires an accounting of more detailed information for certain disclosures that are most likely to affect a person’s rights or interests.

HHS has made the proposed changes available for public comment until August 1, 2011.