These days of 25 years ago were the days of paper charts and documentation, phone communications, and old-fashioned faxes. In the intervening 25 years, HIPAA has not changed, but the world around it has. Today, protected health information is used, disclosed, and accessed by health apps such as FitBit, CommonHealth, and Sleep Cycle. The legislation seeks to bring these entities into the HIPAA fold by designating them as covered entities, thus subjecting them to HIPAA’s regulatory scheme. Additional details of the new HIPAA privacy technology legislation are discussed below.
New HIPAA Privacy Technology Legislation: Deja Vu All Over Again
Congress has attempted to pass new HIPAA privacy technology legislation for at least a decade. Some of the legislation failed to garner bipartisan support. Events beyond the control of Congress have thwarted still other legislative proposals. In 2019, several proposals to “modernize” HIPAA were made. When COVID-19 reached our shores, the momentum needed to pass the new HIPAA privacy and security technology legislation fizzled.
New HIPAA Privacy Technology Legislation: There is a Doctor in the Building
The Health Data Use and Privacy Commission Act (HDUPC) is notable for being introduced by an actual medical doctor. Senator Cassidy is also Bill Cassidy, M.D. As a doctor, he has expressed concern that if HIPAA is not updated to reflect reality, the security of patient data will be put at risk. Senator Baldwin sits on the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies and has a particular interest in health information security.