It was reported from last week’s HIPAA conference, sponsored by OCR and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, that the final rule that will strengthen HIPAA privacy and security safeguards will be released by the end of 2011. Sue McAndrew, deputy director for health information privacy at the Office of Civil Rights in the Health and Human Services Department, went so far as to say:
“I really am hoping that we are now targeting months, if not weeks, for the publication.”
That article also reported:
As part of the final rule, business associates, which supply services and activities on behalf of healthcare providers and health plans, will be obligated to comply with HIPAA, and they will be responsible for their subcontractors following it also, McAndrew said.
Health Care organizations and their business partners should start thinking about how to provision their employees with ways to collaborate and share confidential information to improve compliance with industry regulations such as HIPAA and reduce the risk of data breaches now. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, download the Accellion White Paper: Secure File Sharing for HIPAA Compliance: Protecting PHI.