On April 17, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”) published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would revise the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule to bar certain uses and disclosures of protected health information (“PHI”) related to reproductive health care. Specifically, the proposed rule (“Rule”) would amend the Privacy Rule to prohibit covered entities or business associates (collectively, “regulated entities”) from using or disclosing PHI for purposes of (1) criminal, civil, or administrative investigations into or proceedings against any person in connection with seeking, obtaining, providing, or facilitating lawful reproductive health care, or (2) the identification of any person for the purpose of initiating such investigations or proceedings.
The Rule appears to be designed to further President Biden’s executive order directing HHS to consider actions that would “strengthen the protection of sensitive information related to reproductive healthcare services and bolster patient-provider confidentiality.” President Biden issued the order in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Below, we provide a brief summary of the proposed changes and a timeline for commenting.
Continue Reading HHS Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on HIPAA and the Use and Disclosure of Information Related to Reproductive Health Care