ADA comments on HIPAA Privacy Rule

Association calls proposed changes overly burdensome, seeks more time for implementation     

Washington — The ADA is asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights to consider the burdens changes to the HIPAA privacy rule will impose on covered providers, including dentists.
The request was part of the Association’s formal comments to OCR in response to the agency’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on modifications to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule.
“Some of the proposed changes could inconvenience patients, take time away from patient care, disrupt schedules, or overburden dental offices,” ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, D.M.D., said in their letter.  
These proposed changes include a 15-day timeframe for responding to requests for access; a proposal to permit patients to access, copy and photograph their protected health information at the time of their appointments; and a proposed requirement that covered providers develop fee schedules for providing copies of protected health information. Covered entities with websites would be required to post such schedules on their websites.
According to the Association, the extensive proposed changes would be overly burdensome for covered providers at any time, but particularly now when patients and dentists are still dealing with the COVID-19 public health emergency.