ONC, OCR publish model privacy notices


Customizable documents can be used by covered entities for new rule compliance

With the deadline for the HIPAA Omnibus Rule less than a week away, the Office of the National Coordinator and the HHS Office for Civil Rights are giving a hand to providers and payers, issuing examples of the notices of privacy practices that must be furnished to patients and plan members under the law.

Developed by ONC and OCR with input from consumers and other stakeholders, the model notices come in three basic formats and are customizable for particular organizations. Covered entities can enter their own specific information into these templates, officials say, and then print and post to their websites.

The privacy notices are available in the form of a booklet; as a layered notice with a summary of the information on the first page and full content on the following pages or a notice with the design elements of the booklet, but that is formatted for full-page presentation. Additionally, a text-only version is available for covered entities who only wish to use the content.

The new HIPAA rule gives individuals a right to be informed of the privacy practices of health plans and care providers, and of their privacy rights regarding their personal health information. Covered entities are required by HIPAA to develop and distribute a notice that provides a clear, user-friendly explanation of these rights and practices.

These model notices can help providers and plans by reflecting the regulatory changes of the Omnibus Rule and serving as the baseline for covered entities working to come into compliance with the new requirements.

Access the notices here.

[See also: AMA toolkit helps docs meet HIPAA rules]