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AMA Offering HIPAA Omnibus Guidance

September 9, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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With the updated version of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) going into effect on Sept. 23, the American Medical Association (AMA) is throwing a life line to its members with a toolkit that will aim to help physicians navigate the revisions of the federal privacy and security rules.

The toolkit provides the physicians with 11 specific tips that aim to help them better understand the Final HIPAA Omnibus Rule. This includes advising the providers to understand the compliance requirements and evaluate the relationship they have with business associates.

"Understanding the implications of the modified privacy rule can be daunting for busy physician practices," said AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D. "The AMA stands ready with expert resources and effective tips that will help physicians meet the new requirements for protecting highly sensitive patient information as more data becomes digitalized."

Other tips include prioritizing compliance activities, understanding the breach notification rule, knowing a patient’s rights, and being aware of significant penalties.  The business associate element, which has become a bit hot topic within the industry, will force physicians to review their relationships and determine if they have to enter into an official agreement.

Along with the tips, the organization is offering templates of revised privacy notices that providers will have to share with patients, as well as new agreements with business associates that handle patient data.

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