What is HIPAA?


What does the it mean?


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published a final rule (Federal Retister Vol 78 No 17) amending Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) regulations by adding provisions that require notice to patients and others of a "breach," or disclosure of unsecured protected health information (PHI), by HIPAA-covered entities and business associates (the "HIPAA Rule"). The Federal Trade Commission published the Health Breach Notification Rule to address breach notification by personal health-records vendors (the "FTC Rule").

The HIPAA Rule requires that a HIPAA-covered entity (a healthcare provider, payor or clearinghouse) notify an individual when PHI has been improperly disclosed. The entity must also notify HHS regarding confirmed breaches. In some instances, the media must also be notified.

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