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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Kirk Nahra Comments on Increased Funding for HIPAA Compliance Audit Program

Healthcare Info Security
February 12, 2016

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice and co-chair of the Health Care Practice, was quoted in a article about the Obama administration’s proposed fiscal 2017 budget for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance audit program and other data privacy and security efforts. The HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which enforces HIPAA, calls for an approximate 10% increase to $43 million, which would enable OCR to “modernize HIPAA protections” according to the article.

“I don't think there is a great need to streamline HIPAA’s requirements overall, but I do think it would be useful to provide better guidance and reduce the impact of the detail of the HIPAA Security Rule on business associates,” Mr. Nahra said, particularly for entities that have a limited exposure to protected health information.

“The question of modernization and innovation is also linked to what…is the biggest policy issue in this area—what to do about all of the health care data that is being created, gathered and analyzed outside of the HIPAA context,” he said. “OCR is looking at that, but they have a jurisdiction issue.” Mr. Nahra added that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Federal Trade Commission are also in a position to review the data, concluding “this debate is growing and becoming more significant every day."

To read the complete article, please click here.