New policies were declared by the Health and Human Services Department privacy and security team for expansion of patients’ rights to make decisions regarding their health records, giving patients the ability to restrict the use of information for marketing purposes and granting them greater control over the sale of their health information.
The rules put forward by the government is considered to be as a critical phase as the Obama administration aims at promoting the adoption of electronic health information exchange, and has set the goal of providing an electronic medical record (EMR) to every citizen of the country by 2014 and has promised to meet the objectives before the deadline.
The policies would strengthen and expand enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) privacy, security, and enforcement rules in several ways as announced on Thursday. Adam Green, senior health IT and privacy specialist with HHS’s Office for Civil Rights, briefed the tiger team on the proposed amendments to HIPAA’s privacy and security rules, announced on July 8 by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
The rules also appeals for the expansion of individuals’ rights to access their information and to limit certain types of disclosures of protected health information to health plans. It also demands the business associates of HIPAA-covered entities to take actions under these rules and if not regulated, the associates are liable to legal actions