HHS Finalizes Privacy Rule to Protect Reproductive Health Information

What’s happening: The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a final rule prohibiting entities regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule from using or disclosing protected health information (PHI) to investigate or prosecute patients, providers, or others involved in providing legal reproductive health services. 

What else to know: The final rule is effective June 25, and covered entities are required to comply within 240 days. Hospitals will need to update their policies and procedures to comply with these new rules. 

CMS Updates Hospital Guidance for Texting Patient Info

What’s happening: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated guidance for hospitals and critical access hospitals related to texting patient information.  

What else to know: Hospitals should use a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant secure texting platform that complies with Medicare and Medicaid conditions of participation.