A top lawyer for Office for Civil Rights says final rules for HIPAA and HITECH could be published by the end of this year or early next year, HealthLeaders Media reports. The final rule on breach notification is also pending, which was sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review but was later withdrawn. It remains to be seen whether the breach notification rule will be included into the interim final rules, which supporters say works because it eliminates endless breach notification reports for harmless incidents. But opponents want it removed, saying it reduces privacy protections. A periodic audit requirement is also being considered.
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