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December 17, 2020

HHS Proposes Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule to Empower Patients, Improve Coordinated Care, and Reduce Regulatory Burdens

On December 10, HHS announced proposed changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule to remove barriers to coordinated care and to reduce regulatory burdens. HHS Secretary Alex Azar indicated the proposed changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule will break down barriers that have stood in the way of common sense care coordination and value-based arrangements for far too long. The changes are part of a broader effort to reform regulations that impede care coordination, and the proposed reforms are designed to reduce burdens on providers and empower patients and their families to secure better health.

Some of the proposed changes include strengthening and clarifying HIPAA’s individual right of access to PHI, creating a minimum necessary standard exception for care coordination and case management, and facilitating appropriate PHI disclosures in emergencies and health crises. Public comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.