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Pabrai on HIPAA/HITECH Compliance

Aug 13 2010   2:03PM GMT

Public Health Disclosure & Fundraising Updates in HITECH NPRM

Posted by: Pabrai
Disclosures, Fundraising, HITECH, Public Health

The HITECH NPRM published as a Federal Register on July 14, 2010 (45 CFR Parts 160 and 164) includes updates to a few areas public health disclosure and fundraising requirements.

Public Health Disclosures

The proposed rule would create a new public health provision to permit disclosure of proof of a child’s immunization by a covered entity to a school in States that have school entry or similar laws. This proposed change would allow a covered health care provider to release proof of immunization to a school without having to obtain a written authorization, provided the provider obtained the agreement (oral or otherwise) to the disclosure from either the parent or guardian, or the individual, if the individual is an adult or emancipated minor. It is expected the burden would be reduced on covered entities and parents in obtaining and providing written authorizations.

Since the proposed rule would require the covered entity and the responsible party for the student to agree that the covered entity may release proof of immunization, some covered entities may request the agreement in writing.

Fundraising Requirements

The proposed rule would require that any fundraising communication sent to an individual must provide the recipient with a clear and conspicuous opportunity to opt out of receiving any further fundraising communications. If an individual elects to opt out, the fundraising entity must not send the individual additional fundraising communications. This proposed change will require fundraisers to clearly and conspicuously provide the recipient an opt-out choice from receiving future communication and to treat such a choice as a revocation of authorization. This will result in fewer unwanted fundraising communications.

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