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Who will enforce HIPAA?

Who is going to enforce the privacy and security regulations to all healthcare entities? Does the goverment has the bandwith to do so?

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The Office for Civil Rights, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is responsible for HIPAA, will enforce the HIPAA Privacy Rule. It was recently announced that CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) is going to be responsible for enforcing the HIPAA Transactions and Code Sets Rule. It has not yet been determined who will enforce the HIPAA Security Rule. Perhaps that will be included in the final HIPAA Security Rule that is due out at any time. Regarding government bandwidth, the enforcement piece of HIPAA will most likely fall in line with all other governmental enforcement agencies that run on minimum resources and could indeed be the weakest link in the HIPAA chain.

For more information on this topic, visit these other resources:
Best Web Links: Health Care/Health Services
News & Analysis: Provider's HIPAA implementation points out policy strengths, areas of need
Ask the Expert: Where to find statement of HIPAA security standards

This was first published in October 2002

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