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HHS Warns of Tougher HIPAA Enforcement

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At the Safeguarding Health Information conference in Washington, D.C. last month, Susan McAndrew, deputy director for privacy at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights, said that the healthcare industry can soon expect a greater emphasis on enforcing the HIPAA security rule than in years past.

 

To reinforce her point, she stated that the Office for Civil Rights has added investigators in 10 regional offices specifically for the purpose of boosting enforcement.

 

Consequently, 2010 is when the industry will really start to see a realization of HITECH’s privacy and security initiatives enacted in 2009. “We’re hoping to move security to the forefront and make it a real partner with privacy in our enforcement,” McAndrew says.

 

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