On September 19th, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) indefinitely delayed enforcement of provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rule, which required medical labs to revise their notices of privacy practices (NPP) that routinely are given to patients to make them aware of their HIPAA protections and rights. This rule was published in January and was due to be in effect on September 23rd, 2013. This delay did not apply to labs that were part of larger entities, such as hospitals that do not have laboratory specific NPPs.
According to the HHS’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) the delay happened because both they and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) intend to publish a final rule amending the HIPAA privacy rule and CLIA rules to give patients the ability to request results directly from labs. Because of this, labs will need to be able to inform their patients of this right and how to exercise it. APS will continue to monitor all HIPAA and CLIA related activity and determine their impact on clients. If you have additional questions, please contact your Account Manager.
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