Sebelius shifts responsibility for HIPAA Security Rule enforcement to OCR

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has delegated the responsibility for administration and enforcement of the HIPAA Security Rule to the Office of Civil Rights, a division of HHS.  Previously, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), another HHS division, was responsible for Security Rule administration, while OCR was tasked with administering and enforcing the HIPAA Privacy Rule.  Effective immediately, OCR is responsible for administering both Security  Rule and Privacy Rule, as well as all HIT privacy and security related provisions in the HITECH Act.

According to HHS, this move "will eliminate duplication and increase efficiencies in how the department ensures that Americans’ health information privacy is protected."  This transfer of authority is not meant to create any disruption of current procedures.  Consumers may continue to submit HIPAA security complaints using the on-line resource – the Administrative Simplification Enforcement Tool (ASET) -- which can be accessed here. New security complaints may also be sent to the Office for Civil Rights

You can find the Federal Register notice here.

"HHS Delegates Authority for the HIPAA Security Rule to Office for Civil Rights," HHS Press Release (August 3, 2009).


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