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HIPAA Privacy Rule and Care Coordination

As part of the Department's Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care, OCR is issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to modify the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to support individuals' engagement in their health care, remove barriers to coordinated care, and decrease regulatory burdens on the health care industry, while continuing to protect individuals' health information privacy interests.

OCR developed many of the proposals in the NPRM in response to public comments received in response to its 2018 Request for Information (RFI) on Modifying the HIPAA Rules to Improve Coordinated Care.

The NPRM requests public comment on proposed changes to the Privacy Rule, including proposals to:

  • Strengthen individuals' rights to access their own health information, including electronic information.
  • Improve information sharing for care coordination and case management for individuals.
  • Facilitate family and caregiver involvement in the care of individuals experiencing emergencies or health crises.
  • Enhance flexibilities for disclosures in emergency or threatening circumstances, such as the Opioid and COVID-19 public health emergencies.
  • Reduce administrative burdens on HIPAA covered health care providers and health plans.

The estimated total cost saving from this proposed regulatory reform is $3.2 billion over five years.

OCR has announced an extension of the deadline to submit comments from March 22, 2021, to May 6, 2021. The NPRM is available for review and comment at https://www.regulations.gov/document/HHS-OCR-2021-0006-0001.

OCR encourages comments from all stakeholders, including patients and their families, HIPAA covered entities (health plans, health care clearinghouses, and most health care providers) and their business associates, consumer advocates, health care professional associations, health information management professionals, health information technology vendors, and government entities.

* People using assistive technology may not be able to fully access information in this file. For assistance, contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights at (800) 368-1019, TDD toll-free: (800) 537-7697, or by emailing OCRMail@hhs.gov.

Content created by Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Content last reviewed on March 11, 2021