Upcoming HIPAA changes catching some unaware

Expansions to privacy and security rules, mostly affecting business associates, go into effect next year.

By Pamela Lewis Dolan — Posted Dec. 11, 2009

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Some hospitals and others that will be impacted by changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act don't know that rule changes are set to go into effect in 2010, a recent survey found.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conducted a survey of 150 hospital information technology executives and 26 business associate firms. Under HIPAA, business associates are any organizations that handle patient health information for purposes other than treating patients.

The survey found a third of the business associates were unaware that HIPAA privacy and security requirements had been extended to cover their organizations.

The survey, commissioned by ID Experts, a data breach prevention company headquartered in Beaverton, Ore., was conducted both by telephone and online in August and September.

Only 42% of the business associates interviewed said they were aware that beginning in 2010, consumers are guaranteed prompt access to an electronic copy of their own health records. Sixty-eight percent of the health care organizations interviewed were aware of this change.

Fifty percent of business associates and 67% of health care organizations were aware that individuals could restrict disclosure of their records when they pay for their own medical services.

Of the survey respondents, 57% said they would renegotiate contracts with business associates. Another half said they would monitor their business associates' performance when it comes to security issues. Forty-seven percent said they would terminate agreements in the event of a breach.

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn