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
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0485
Published: 2014-09-02
S3QL 1.18.1 and earlier uses the pickle Python module unsafely, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted serialized object in (1) common.py or (2) local.py in backends/.

CVE-2014-3861
Published: 2014-09-02
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in CDA.xsl in HL7 C-CDA 1.1 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted reference element within a nonXMLBody element.

CVE-2014-3862
Published: 2014-09-02
CDA.xsl in HL7 C-CDA 1.1 and earlier allows remote attackers to discover potentially sensitive URLs via a crafted reference element that triggers creation of an IMG element with an arbitrary URL in its SRC attribute, leading to information disclosure in a Referer log.

CVE-2014-5076
Published: 2014-09-02
The La Banque Postale application before 3.2.6 for Android does not prevent the launching of an activity by a component of another application, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive cached banking information via crafted intents, as demonstrated by the drozer framework.

CVE-2014-5136
Published: 2014-09-02
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Innovative Interfaces Sierra Library Services Platform 1.2_3 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.