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Capitol Correspondence - 07.16.18

HHS Previews Proposal to Overhaul HIPAA, Few Details Available

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According to Politico:

“The agency will soon seek public input for overhauling HIPAA, as well as the federal anti-kickback statute and the privacy rules surrounding substance abuse patient records, Azar said, arguing they haven’t kept up with the changing health care landscape.”

The Politico quote referred to comments Secretary Azar made at the summer meeting of the 340B Coalition. The comments included one line about HIPAA towards the end – specifically, about eight paragraphs from the bottom. While at this time no further details are available, ANCOR will keep members apprised.

While Secretary Azar’s remarks may not be related to remarks Attorney General Jeff Sessions made at the third meeting of the Federal Commission on School Safety, it is noteworthy that the Attorney General’s comments also referenced the need to reform HIPAA.

Specifically, according to Politico Pro:

“‘You have juvenile courts — they maintain records quite confidentially in secret. You have school systems that maintain records and information, and they keep it private,’ Sessions said. ‘Police are taught to maintain privacy in what they do. Psychological treatment is maintained quite privately as well as medical treatments.’

Wednesday’s commission meeting is focused on mental health, psychotropic medications for children and data confidentiality issues.

The law protecting patient medical information is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA. And the law meant to ensure the privacy of student education records is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.”