Smart Training’s Certified HIPAA Professional says it’s unlikely there will be any substantive changes to patient privacy documents or to HIPAA policies for 2019.
“I think we’re a couple of years away from seeing big changes in the way HIPAA is managed and enforced,” Jim Moore said recently. “That doesn’t mean practices are off the hook with respect to patient privacy, but it does mean that there likely won’t be any changes in documents or policies for the year ahead.”
Smart Training Platinum+ clients receive the customized patient privacy forms Moore developed, along with a 151-page HIPAA Policy and Procedure manual. Both are part of the compliance binder clients receive.
At a July 27 address at The Heritage Foundation, Alex Azar, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, explained that the HHS will be undertaking several updates to health privacy regulations over the coming months, including updates to HIPAA and 45 CFR Part 2 regulations.
The process is expected to commence in the next couple of months. The goal is to reform both rules to remove obstacles to value-based care and support efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Secretary Azar also promised rule changes to remove some of the barriers to data sharing which are currently hampering efforts by health care providers to expand the use of electronic health technology.
Moore says he isn’t optimistic that any of this will happen quickly. “HHS has been promising wide-scale HIPAA audits and enforcement since 2011,” he said, “and to date, fewer than 500 practices nationwide have been affected. These folks don’t do anything in a hurry.”
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