HIPAA Enforcement Meets HITECH: HIPAA Administrative Simplification: Enforcement Rule

On October 30, 2009, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the HIPAA Administrative Simplification: Enforcement Interim Final Rule, 45 CFR Part 160 (74 Federal Register 56123, October 30, 2009).

This new rule was developed and adopted by HHS to conform the enforcement regulations under HIPAA to the revisions made to HIPAA under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

The rule amends the HIPAA enforcement regulations to include the imposition of tiered ranges for civil money penalty amounts based upon an increasing culpability associated with the violation. A full chart of the violation categories and related amounts can be found in the rule.

The interim final rule is effective on November 30, 2009. Comments on the rule can be made prior to December 29, 2009.