Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bigger Budget to Increase Enforcement of HIPAA/HITECH Privacy and Security Rules

In order to increase enforcement of HIPAA privacy and security rules, the HHS/OCR has requested a budget increase of 13.5%. Many expect this to survive congress on the belief that increased HIPAA fines could "easily offset" the $5.6 million budget increase.
OCR's recent actions "should be seen as foreshadowing much more enforcement activities to come." - Rebecca Herold, privacy & security specialist
The increased funding requests from the office, headed by Georgina Verdugo include:
  • $1.3 million to expand investigation of healthcare information breaches of small breaches.
  • $1 million to expand enforcement of HIPAA security and privacy rules..
  • $2.3 million for 10 regional privacy advisers.
  • $1 million to create a "compliance review program"
The OCR's $46.7 million budget request is separate from its HITECH Act-mandated HIPAA compliance audit program as that is funded by the economic stimulus package.
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(a) More HIPAA Enforcement Funding Sought -, March, 2011

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