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New Congress Expected To Scrutinize HITECH

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

November 8, 2010

A Gov Info Security report explores the potential impact of last Tuesday's election on the HITECH Act. "Privacy and security are key issues that both political parties are interested in," said Dave Roberts of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society, adding that "congress will scrutinize the emerging HITECH regulations and consider introducing legislation to fix any rules that don't meet their expectations..." The CEO of a health IT security provider speculates that the new congress might move to nix the harm provision of the final breach notification rule and says that healthcare groups are keen to know whether the proposed Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2010 will apply to healthcare. Wiley Rein partner Kirk Nahra, CIPP, told the Daily Dashboard, "While there is interest in some members of congress in changing the healthcare privacy rules, it is much more likely that congress will give the current legislation (which is still being implemented) a chance to work before new changes are made. Congress has had a very hard time agreeing to healthcare privacy principles, with HITECH being a sort of 'perfect storm' because of the economic incentives in the legislation."
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