HHS publishes HIPAA final rule

The long-awaited expansion of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, unveiled Thursday afternoon by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, comprises four final rules, according to HHS "which have been combined to reduce the impact and number of times certain compliance activities need to be undertaken by regulated entities."

"Much has changed in healthcare since HIPAA was enacted over 15 years ago," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "The new rule will help protect patient privacy and safeguard patients' health information in an ever expanding digital age."

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