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Reliance on Standards Continues to Increase for Entities Implementing HIPAA

Privacy Rule Compliance Deadline Nears; ASC X12 Updates Implementation Guides

New York, Jan 13, 2003

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) in conjunction with the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), has announced plans for a February 5, 2003 National Conference on the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which will make important changes in protecting patient privacy. The event is organized in anticipation of an April 14, 2003 compliance date (April 14, 2004 for small health plans) requiring health plan providers and entities to implement standards protecting and guarding against the misuse of individually identifiable health information. The conference is co-sponsored by the University of California, San Diego and will be held at the Price Center on Campus.

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-91) was enacted by Congress to reform the health care system in the United States. One of the efficiency measures of the Act stipulated that electronic transactions conducted by those health insurers, health care clearinghouses and health care providers that engage in electronic transactions be conducted using national, uniform standards. Congress recognized that advances in electronic technology could potentially erode the privacy of health information and also incorporated into HIPAA provisions that mandated the adoption of Federal privacy protections for individually identifiable health information.

Though the HIPAA Privacy Rule does not replace any Federal, State, or other law that grants individuals even greater privacy protections, and covered entities are free to retain or adopt more protective policies or practices, it does provide the first comprehensive Federal protection for the privacy of health information. All segments of the health care industry have expressed support for the objective of enhanced patient privacy in the health care system.

The session at UCSD is one in a series of national events that is designed to provide an unprecedented opportunity to hear from and interact with officials who developed the HIPAA Privacy Rule – these key officials are also responsible for interpreting and enforcing the rule. The DHHS Office for Civil Rights will provide an expert faculty who will answer questions from attendees during extensive question and answer sessions following their presentations.

“Conference participants will have the opportunity to work through important issues that will help them determine how the HIPAA Privacy Rule applies to their organization, and how they can best comply with the Rules requirements,” said J.R. (Josh) Valdez, Regional Director, Immediate Office of the Secretary, U.S. DHHS.

For more information or to register, please click here.


ANSI Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 Insurance on Electronic Data Interchange develops e-business exchange standards in EDI and XML formats that interact with a multitude of e-commerce technologies including the exchange of health care information. ASC X12's Insurance Subcommittee (X12N) has published an Addenda for the nine May 2000 X12N Implementation Guides adopted for use under HIPAA. The ASC X12N Addenda are designed to be used in concert with the May 2000 Implementation Guides. The Addenda documents are actual additions to the original pages in the May (or 004010) Implementation Guides and notes the specific changes that were made to the May 2000 Implementation Guide pages. The update was orchestrated by the Health Care Task Group of Subcommittee X12N (Insurance).

“These Addenda, recommended by leading health care and insurance experts in ASC X12, complement and simplify the implementation process for users of the May 2000 Implementation Guides,” explained Gary Beatty, ASC X12 Insurance Subcommittee Chair.

For more information, please click here.

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