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Final HIPAA Rule Protects Reproductive Health Care Information From Law Enforcement, Report on Medicare Compliance

Monday, April 29, 2024

Partner Reece Hirsch was quoted extensively in a Report on Medicare Compliance article regarding a final Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rule on reproductive health care privacy.

The rule requires covered entities (e.g., hospitals and physicians) to update their notice of privacy practices to include the prohibition, said Reece Hirsch. But they have until 2026 to align IT with the NPP changes required by the 2024 Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulation (known as Part 2), Reece added.

He also noted that that the rule clarifies the definition of “person” for HIPAA purposes. “The final rule adopts the proposed clarification of the definition of person, to mean a ‘natural person (meaning a human being who is born alive), trust or estate, partnership, corporation, professional association or corporation, or other entity, public or private.’ Therefore, an ‘individual,’ ‘child,’ or ‘victim’ (e.g., a victim of crime) under the HIPAA Rules must be a natural person,” the rule stated. “This clarification applies only to regulations issued pursuant to the Administrative Simplification provisions of HIPAA.”

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