Request for Information on Federal Health Privacy Rules and Proposed Changes to Be Released by HHS

On July 22, Alex Azar, The Heritage Foundation, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), stated during an address that the HHS is preparing for various changes to the health privacy regulations in the few months ahead. The improvements would consist of adjustments to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the 45 CFR Part 2 (Part 2) rules.

HHS is going to handle the request for information by providing a resource on action to be taken on the HIPAA and Part 2 regulations. The aims of the forthcoming policy changes are to do away with obstacles to value-based healthcare and help overcome the opioid problem. The agency will most likely look at the regulations blocking data sharing that holds back the efforts of healthcare companies to extend the usage of the electronic health technology.

Current polices that impede the ability of doctors, healthcare providers, and payers to give quality healthcare and coordinate services are being reviewed. Healthcare fees are also being reviewed, which brings up the proposed change by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning Medicare and the pay structure of health professionals for basic health visits. .

The current payment for patient visits has five tiers. Payments go up as the patient visits become more complex. This system is sensible, however it places a substantial administrative burden on medical professionals because of the requirement to rationalize why a patient visit is classified at a higher tier. The CMS proposal is to just have two tiers that will save medical doctors about 50 work hours per year. That time could have been diverted to other more productive work in healthcare services. The CMS likewise requested for information about the concerns with Stark’s Law. This law doesn’t let doctors refer patients to doctors that have a financial connection with them, except for particular situations. The CMS will furthermore request for information about the Anti-Kickback Statute as well as the HIPAA and Part 2.

Healthcare companies are urged to submit comments and suggestions relating to their issues on the Anti-Kickback Statute, the HIPAA and 45 CFR Part 2. The submissions are going to help shape policy revisions.

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Christine Garcia is the staff writer on Calculated HIPAA. Christine has several years experience in writing about healthcare sector issues with a focus on the compliance and cybersecurity issues. Christine has developed in-depth knowledge of HIPAA regulations. You can contact Christine at [email protected]. You can follow Christine on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ChrisCalHIPAA