HHS Releases HIPAA Penalty Guidance

April 18, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Federal regulators have put out guidance on how they plan to handle the civil enforcement of the medical information privacy and security laws under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Rules addressed in the  new government document would add a new Subpart D to 45 C.F.R. Part 160 explaining how and when the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will assess civil monetary penalties (CMP) while enforcing HIPAA.

According to the document,HHS will issue the enforcement rule, which will address a number of substantive issues relating to the imposition of CMPs under section 1320d-5, such as the department’s policies for determining violations and calculating CMPs.

HHS officials said that the rule will also set up procedures for them to impose a CMP including the procedures for providing notice and a hearing on the (HHS) Secretary’s determination to impose a CMP.

The proposed rules were scheduled to be published in Monday’s Federal Register, with public comments due back to the agency June 17.

Comments can be mailed to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-0010-IFC, P.O. Box 8010, Baltimore, MD 21244-8010 or electronically at  CMS0010.Comments@hhs.gov.