Skip to content Skip to navigation


January 17, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released an update to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), aiming to better protect patient privacy and safeguard patients’ health information in the digital age, according to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. 

The changes to HIPAA, according to HHS, are a bit consumer-focused. For instance, patients can now ask for a copy of their electronic medical record in an electronic form. Furthermore, HHS is allowing individuals the ability to tell their provider to not share information about their treatment with their health plan. There are also limits on how your health information can be used and disclosed for marketing and fundraising purposes. It also has forbidden the sale of a patients’ health information without their permission.

According to HHS, this HIPAA update will also expand the legislation to include greater focus and requirements of business associates of providers, payers, and other healthcare organizations that receive protected health information (PHI). HHS cites the fact that many of the largest data breaches in the past have been due to third-party mishap. As a result, penalties have been increased for noncompliance based on the level of negligence with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per violation.

“This final omnibus rule marks the most sweeping changes to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules since they were first implemented,” HHS Office for Civil Rights Director Leon Rodriguez said in a statement.   “These changes not only greatly enhance a patient’s privacy rights and protections, but also strengthen the ability of my office to vigorously enforce the HIPAA privacy and security protections, regardless of whether the information is being held by a health plan, a health care provider, or one of their business associates.”

These and other HIPAA changes can be viewed here.

Health IT Summit Series - Focus: CYBER-SECURITY

Get the latest information on Cyber-Security, and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day, intimate event bringing together C-level, physician, practice management and IT decision makers for strategy discussions, knowledge exchange, and one-on-one meetings.

Beverly Hills, November 3-4   |   Atlanta, December 2-3   |   Houston, December 8-9


CVS Health Launches Digital Tools Aimed at Increasing Medication Adherence

November 19, 2015
CVS Health, based in Woonsocket, R.I., has released a suite of new digital tools to assist consumers with managing their health and increasing their medication adherence.

Centura Health Named HIMSS Davies Award Recipient

November 19, 2015
The Englewood, Colo.-based Centura Health has been named a 2015 HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award recipient for its use of IT to reduce hospitalizations associated with chronic disease management.

AMA Delegates Adopt Policies on Prescription Drug Monitoring and Meaningful Use

November 18, 2015
The American Medical Association’s (AMA) policy-making House of Delegates at its interim meeting yesterday adopted a number of health IT-related policies, including a policy aimed at streamlining meaningful use requirements.

CHIME to CMS: Time to Streamline MU, Align Quality Measures

November 18, 2015
In a letter to CMS, the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has urged policymakers to streamline the meaningful use program and reduce the reporting burden on providers by better aligning quality measures.

CMS Grants More Flexibility for Telemedicine Services Under Bundled Payment Model for Joint Replacements

November 18, 2015
This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled a bundled payment model for hip and knee replacements that will enable Medicare providers to use telemedicine services more extensively.

HITRUST’s Early Efforts to Collect, Share Cyber Threat Data Produces Mixed Results

November 17, 2015
A review of the HITRUST Cyber Threat XChange (CTX), a program to help healthcare organizations collect and share cyber threat information, found that participation, so far, has been low and there are significant gaps in the collection and usability of cyber threat information.

KLAS: Global EMR Adoption Rates Continue to Grow

November 17, 2015
Providers around the globe are continuing to adopt electronic medical record (EMR) technology at a rapid rate, with Cerner and InterSystems standing out as the top-performing fully rated multiregional vendors, according to a new report from Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research.

HealthMyne Integrates Imaging Analytics Platform with EHR

November 17, 2015
HealthMyne, a Madison-Wis.-based imaging informatics company, is working with Epic Systems and UW Health to integrate its imaging analytics platform with electronic health record (EHR) data.

Survey: Majority of Providers are Using Remote Patient Monitoring Solutions

November 16, 2015
Two-thirds of hospitals and health systems have deployed remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions in their organizations, according to research from Menlo Park, Calif.-based Spyglass Consulting Group.

House Bill Addresses Veterans Affairs EHR and Interoperability

November 16, 2015
A Department of Veterans Affairs fiscal 2016 appropriations bill that passed the Senate last week, H.R. 2029, included language that addresses the VA’s electronic health record (EHR) system and the progress the agency is making towards interoperability.

EHNAC Accredits Two Data Registries for Handling PHI

November 16, 2015
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) has granted full accreditation status to two beta test participants, Alpha II, LLC and FIGmd, Inc., for its Data Registry Accreditation Program (DRAP).

EHRA Holds its Ground in Response to ONC Information Blocking Report

November 16, 2015
The HIMSS EHR Association (EHRA) has provided some more clarification on its position regarding the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) report on information blocking that it released this past April.

Children’s Medical Clinics of East Texas Reports Data Breach of 16K Pediatric Patient Records

November 13, 2015
Kaufman, Texas-based Children’s Medical Clinics of East Texas has notified families of patients that an employee improperly accessed patient health information, according to a breach notification letter posted on the clinic’s website.

White House Reveals Privacy and Trust Principles for Precision Medicine Initiative

November 13, 2015
As part of its Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) announced in January 2015, the White House’s interagency agency working group has developed privacy and trust principles for activities within the agenda.

CMS Officials Delay Diagnostic Imaging Test Mandate That Had Been Set for January 2017

November 12, 2015
According to a Nov. 11 report online at, CMS has postponed its January 1, 2017 deadline for physicians to use clinical decision support software when ordering diagnostic imaging tests