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Proposed HHS Modifications Contain Gems for Secure Destruction Industry

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Readers may remember that last month NAID made a special announcement that Health and Human Services had released their proposed modification to HIPAA, in response to meeting the new requirements of HITECH/ARRA.

Little did we imagine at that time that the proposed changes contained so much good news for the secure destruction industry.

For instance, HHS states in writing that if “HHS’s investigation reveals that the covered entity had failed to implement any policies and procedures to reasonably and appropriately safeguard health information during the disposal process” this would fall under the definition of “willful neglect.”

It further makes clear that covered entities (and business associates for that matter) that do have such policies, procedures and training in place, may be held harmless if there is a violation by an employee acting in contrary to said policies and training.

And the timing could not be better. This all happens just as NAID is retooling the CTK as a program for developing the required client/employee training, and as the task force on marketing to small medical offices is meeting.

In fact, there are a number of points within the proposal where HHS uses data destruction service providers as a prime example of how the new application of HIPAA to business associates will affect service providers.

NAID’s analysis of the 234-page HHS proposal will be completed soon.  NAID intends to take the opportunity to formally respond to HHS, as well as offer members a free webinar on August 24, 2010 at 4 PM EST, to explain the impact of the proposed changes.   The webinar is only available to NAID Members and, though there is no fee, registration is required.

Click here to download “The Impact of the Proposed Changes to HIPAA” Webinar Registration Form.

Click here to download the HHS’s “Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.”