Risk
7/9/2010
09:46 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

HHS Proposes Patient Privacy Rules

Department of Health and Human Services regulations would expand patients' rights to control their personal health data.

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced new rules that expand patients' rights to make decisions regarding their health records, including giving patients the ability to restrict the use of information for marketing purposes, and granting them greater control over the sale of their health information.

The proposed rules are seen as a crucial step as the Obama administration promotes the adoption of electronic health information exchange, and has set the goal of providing every citizen with an electronic medical record (EMR) by 2014.

Announced on Thursday, the policies would strengthen and expand enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) privacy, security, and enforcement rules in several ways.

The rules call for the expansion of individuals' rights to access their information and to restrict certain types of disclosures of protected health information to health plans. It also requires business associates of HIPAA-covered entities to be under most of the same rules as the covered entities.

The proposed modifications to the HIPAA privacy & security rules also establish new limitations on the use and disclosure of protected health information for marketing and fundraising, and prohibits the sale of protected health information without a patient's consent.

"To improve the health of individuals and communities, health information must be available to those making critical decisions, including individuals and their caregivers," HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "While health information technology will help America move its healthcare system forward, the privacy and security of personal health data is at the core of all our work."

Through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, current health information privacy and security rules will now include broader individual rights and stronger protections when third parties handle individually identifiable health information.

"Giving more Americans the ability to access their health information wherever, whenever, and in whatever form is a critical first step toward improving our healthcare system," David Blumenthal, HHS national coordinator for health information technology, said in a statement. "Empowering Americans with real-time and secure access to the information they need to live healthier lives is paramount."

HHS has also launched a privacy website to help the public easily access information about existing HHS privacy efforts and the policies supporting them.

Led by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the HHS Office for Civil Rights, HHS is working with public and private partners to ensure that patients' health information is protected and secure.

Once the rule is published in the Federal Register on July 14, a 60-day comment period will begin during which time the public is invited to give their feedback and suggestions concerning the proposed rules.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-3304
Published: 2014-10-30
Directory traversal vulnerability in Dell EqualLogic PS4000 with firmware 6.0 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a .. (dot dot) in the default URI.

CVE-2013-7409
Published: 2014-10-30
Buffer overflow in ALLPlayer 5.6.2 through 5.8.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) and possibly execute arbitrary code via a long string in a .m3u (playlist) file.

CVE-2014-3446
Published: 2014-10-30
SQL injection vulnerability in wcm/system/pages/admin/getnode.aspx in BSS Continuity CMS 4.2.22640.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the nodeid parameter.

CVE-2014-3584
Published: 2014-10-30
The SamlHeaderInHandler in Apache CXF before 2.6.11, 2.7.x before 2.7.8, and 3.0.x before 3.0.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a crafted SAML token in the authorization header of a request to a JAX-RS service.

CVE-2014-3623
Published: 2014-10-30
Apache WSS4J before 1.6.17 and 2.x before 2.0.2, as used in Apache CXF 2.7.x before 2.7.13 and 3.0.x before 3.0.2, when using TransportBinding, does properly enforce the SAML SubjectConfirmation method security semantics, which allows remote attackers to conduct spoofing attacks via unspecified vect...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.