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Association Responds to HIPAA Information Request

In a Feb. 12 letter to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR), America’s Essential Hospitals urged the agency to ensure that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is enforced in a way that encourages care coordination and reduces regulatory burden on essential hospitals.

The comments were submitted in response to a request for information OCR issued as it seeks to reform the privacy law and to further promote coordinated care.

In its response, the association encouraged OCR to:

  • promote the robust sharing of patient information necessary for effective clinical integration and quality improvement, while maintaining patient privacy protections;
  • ensure comprehensive, coordinated substance abuse treatment and care by aligning 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA;
  • consider recent proposals related to electronic information exchange and interoperability before proposing modifications to HIPAA, and seek alignment across the agency; and
  • provide increased public outreach and education on existing provisions of HIPAA to ensure comprehension by providers and patients.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Rachel Schwartz is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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