The compliance deadline for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Omnibus Final Rule, issued in January 2013, has arrived. By tomorrow (Sept. 23, 2014), both covered entities and business associates need to be in full compliance with the rule’s provisions.

As the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced when issuing the rule:

The changes in the final rulemaking provide the public with increased protection and control of personal health information.  The HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules have focused on health care providers, health plans and other entities that process health insurance claims.  The changes announced today expand many of the requirements to business associates of these entities that receive protected health information, such as contractors and subcontractors. Some of the largest breaches reported to HHS have involved business associates. Penalties are increased for noncompliance based on the level of negligence with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per violation. The changes also strengthen the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Breach Notification requirements by clarifying when breaches of unsecured health information must be reported to HHS.

For detailed information about the requirements contained in the final rule, please order a copy of our HIPAA Omnibus Rule Compliance Kit.