The HIPAA-HITECH Omnibus Rule: What’s New?

New rules released under HIPAA require physicians to make several major changes over the next six months. These changes are complex and they will have a direct impact on how physicians do business, so physicians need to start planning now.

Business associate (BA) agreements must be reviewed. The new rules require physicians to use reasonable diligence in overseeing business associates. BAs should also take notice, because they may now be directly liable for breaches. The definition of who counts as a BA has expanded. So, any company working with a physician needs to figure out whether the new rules apply to it.

Physicians also need to prepare new NPPs to account for new patient rights. Patients will soon be able to limit disclosure if they pay for services in full. They will also be able to request machine-readable copies of EHR. Last, they will have to give written approval before the physician can use third-party marketing.

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