HIPAA Compliance Trends That Will Be Big This Year

A couple of months into 2015, we are still piecing together what we can expect to be the major issues facing the health care industry this year. In terms of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), however, we have a pretty good idea of what the most significant trends will be in 2015.

The following are a few of them:

  • More enforcement actions coming. The last couple years have been big in terms of HIPAA enforcement actions, and you can expect more of the same in 2015. Data breaches will continue to be big news stories. We’ve already seen one of the biggest data breaches in history affect Anthem, the nation’s second-largest provider of health care, but even smaller insurance companies and health care facilities will see enforcement actions related to data breaches.
  • Further refining of associate agreements. Many practices and business associates have signed business associate agreements already, but it’s likely that they had to rush these agreements to make sure they had them in place by the time they went into effect in September 2013 and 2014. Expect practices and their associates to take some time to go back, review those agreements and revise them where necessary.
  • The review of accountable care organizations (ACOs). Even though ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program are not governed by all of the anti-kickback and antitrust laws in the Stark Act, there are still some rules that they must comply with. Expect state regulators to begin investigating ACOs to analyze their structure, whether they are insurance risks and how they are complying with these laws.
  • Use of telemedicine. Expect more practices to use technology to treat patients that are unable to make it in to the facility. However, there are likely to be challenges in terms of the quality of care, abuse of the service and how information is exchanged over telephone and the Internet.

For further insights into the types of HIPAA issues that will take center stage this year and beyond, meet with a knowledgeable New York health care lawyer at Buttaci Leardi & Werner, LLC.

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