HHS requests information on PHI disclosures

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The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has posted a request for information (RFI) to understand the interests of individuals regarding protected health information (PHI) disclosures and the administrative burden on covered entities and business associates of accounting for such disclosures.

The HITECH Act requires HHS to revise the HIPAA Privacy Rule to require covered entities to account for disclosures of PHI to carry out treatment, payment and healthcare operations if such disclosures are made through an EHR, according to the RFI published May 3 in the Federal Register.

Covered entities under HIPAA are currently required to make available to an individual upon request an accounting of certain disclosures of the individual's PHI over the past six years, the RFI stated.

The notice seeks industry input on nine questions with comments due by May 18.