reported that OCR (Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights) which is the “HIPAA enforcement agency is planning to seek the public’s input through notices of proposed rulemaking and a request for information before making possible changes.” The March 28, 2018 article entitled “OCR Considering HIPAA Privacy Rule, Enforcement Changes” included these comments from Roger Severino (OCR Director ) that OCR is considering issuing:

  • A request for information on how the agency might distribute to victims a percentage of the funds it collects from HIPAA settlements and civil monetary penalties;
  • A notice of proposed rulemaking for potentially changing or dropping the current HIPAA privacy rule requirement that patients sign – and healthcare organizations keep – forms acknowledging the individuals received the entities’ notices of privacy practices;
  • A notice of proposed rulemaking involving “good faith” disclosures of patient information, clarifying that healthcare providers in certain circumstance are permitted – without patient authorization – to share information, such as with a patient’s family when a patient is incapacitated.

Given the importance of HIPAA it will be interesting to see the public comments.