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Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013

This Week's News

Compliance for revised HIPAA rules Sept. 23; AMA tools simplify process

Compliance for revised HIPAA rules Sept. 23; AMA tools simplify process

A toolkit released Monday by the AMA can help physicians navigate sweeping new revisions to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security rules. Physicians must comply with them by Sept. 23.

Among the key changes doctors must make for the Sept. 23 deadline are new agreements with business associates that handle patient data and privacy notices to share with patients and increased security measures for patient information.

Physicians can turn to the AMA's free toolkit for initial guidance in meeting the new requirements. The toolkit offers practical resources physicians can begin using in their practices:

"Understanding the implications of the modified privacy rule can be daunting for busy physician practices," AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, said in a news release. "The AMA stands ready with expert resources and effective tips that will help physicians meet the new requirements for protecting highly sensitive patient information as more data becomes digitalized."

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the 563-page HIPAA omnibus rule in January, revising and extending required safeguards for protected health information and expanding individual rights of patients. The updated law also tightens requirements on physicians when patient information is breached. As a result, physician practices could face more legal scrutiny and higher fines in the event of an information breach.

While this new toolkit is available free of charge, physicians also can find additional HIPAA products available for purchase through the AMA Store. AMA members receive a 25 percent discount.