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HHS sends proposed HITECH changes through for review

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HHS Monday sent proposed regulations amending the HIPAA Privacy Rule in accordance with the HITECH Act requirements to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for review (OIRA). That office is under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

What does this mean for when they hit the streets for privacy and security officers?

Asked when it believes guidance will be public, OCR, which oversees enforcement of the HIPAA privacy and security rules, writes in an e-mail to HIPAA Update, “HHS cannot predict the OMB timeline.”

John R. Christiansen of Christiansen IT Law in Seattle says he expects to see it made public some time between the end of this week (not at all likely) and the end of the summer.

OIRA has 90 days to review the regulations, though the head of the submitting agency can extend that time and OIRA may request a one-time 30 day extension, says Jana Aagaard, attorney in the Law Office of Jana Aagaard in Carmichael, CA.

View the  OIRA’s review status (in aggregate — not for any specific regulation, Aagard says).

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