Pullman & Comley Attorney Comments on HIPAA Changes in ARRA
Jennifer Willcox, an attorney in Pullman & Comley's Health Care Department, discussed changes to the Health Care Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the May 2009 issue of What to Do About Personnel Problems, published by Business & Legal Reports. The HIPAA changes are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the economic stimulus package signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009. According to Jennifer, one major change concerns the obligations of "business associates" of health plans or providers who perform outsourced functions that involve access to private health information. When the changes go into effect in early 2010, these parties will be subject, for the first time, "to the same civil and criminal penalties that can now be assessed against plans and providers for HIPAA violations."