February 12, 2019
ASA Responds to HHS Questions on Potential HIPAA Modifications
On February 12, 2019, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) submitted a formal communication to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on its Request for Information (RFI) on possible Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) modifications. The RFI was released on December 14, 2018. HHS requested information on how HIPAA regulations could be changed to further the HHS Secretary’s goal of promoting coordinated, value-based healthcare while reducing administrative costs and physician burden.
ASA identified several relevant questions posed by OCR in the RFI that could impact both ASA members and the Anesthesia Quality Institute National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (AQI NACOR), which maintains clinical data registries that collect case data for quality improvement purposes as a “business associate” under HIPAA. ASA comments stressed the importance for practices to send accurate and complete anesthesia datasets to AQI’s registries for the registry to improve health care and anesthesia outcomes through better coordination of patient care and in the development of clinical best practices.
ASA also recognized the important relationship anesthesiology practices have with their patients and the necessary burdens that practices undertake to protect patient privacy. ASA recommended OCR take into consideration not just the trust a patient has in their physician or the physician’s practice to protect their PHI but also the trust that physicians and their practices have when submitting data to a clinical data registry.
Read ASA comments here.
For more information, contact the ASA Department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at [email protected] or 202/289-2222.