HHS Announces Proposed Rules Concerning Health Information

Lora Bentley

Just as the push toward electronic health records ramps up and the quest for federal incentives begins, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights and the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology are proposing new health information privacy rules.


Computerworld reported Friday that the proposed rules would, among other things, ban the sale of patient data unless the patient consents and give patients the ability to further restrict access to certain health information.


According to HHS, they are the result of the directive in the HITECH Act to "improve the nation's health care system by enabling health information to follow the patient wherever and whenever it is needed."


At a press conference announcing the rules, HHS Office of Civil Rights Director Georgina Verdugo said:

As we enter in to a new age of electronic health information exchange [it] is more important than ever to ensure greater consumer confidence in the privacy and security of their health information and the industry's use of new technology.


A 60-day public comment period for the new rules is set to begin July 14.

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