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Sarah E. Coyne quoted in article “Life Sciences Regulation And Legislation To Watch In 2014: HIPAA Accounting Disclosures Expand”


The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, expanded the tracking obligation by requiring regulated entities including health care providers, and their business associates, to account for disclosures from electronic health records for treatment, payment or health care operations. This would essentially give patients who ask a list of individuals who have accessed their electronic health records, according to Sarah Coyne of Quarles & Brady LLP.

The proposed HIPAA rule on accounting of disclosures from an electronic health record, which was announced in May 2011, has not yet been finalized, she noted. Life sciences firms should be especially conscious about making disclosures through mobile apps, as they could be swept into HIPAA oversight as business associates of health providers, she said.

"Once the HIPAA final accounting rule comes out, providers and business associates will need to keep track of disclosures from a patient's electronic health record for treatment, payment or health care operations," Coyne said. "There wasn’t a lot of definition in the proposed rule as to how to implement this requirement and it has caused a lot of anxiety for providers, especially where their electronic medical record vendors have not implemented a technological solution for the required accounting."

Originally published in Law360, January 1, 2014