Pharmacists asking for change to new HIPAA rules

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 21, 2009

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The National Community Pharmacists Assn. sent a letter to the Dept. of Health and Human Services Dept. of Civil Rights urging that changes be made to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's newly expanded privacy and security rules.

The group called some of the requirements, which were authorized under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, too burdensome. It said the rules will not appreciably raise the level of security and confidentiality of personal health information.

Specifically, the group is concerned that many pharmacists are not equipped to provide patients a list of everyone to whom the pharmacy disclosed personal health information, as required by law. To adopt systems that would allow these types of transactions to be made easily, some pharmacies would be forced to abandon existing systems, in which they already have invested heavily, for new systems, NCPA said.

The letter goes on to say that it also will be too burdensome for some to revise existing contracts with business associates, which are now covered under HIPAA. The pharmacist group is asking that exceptions be made for those who attempt to update business associate contracts but are unable to obtain cooperation from the other parties.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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