Manatt Partner Speaks to Modern Healthcare on New HIPAA Privacy Rule
"Experts See Major Shifts in Privacy Rule"
January 18, 2013 - Manatt's Robert Belfort, a partner in the firm's Healthcare Division, spoke to Modern Healthcare about a new HIPAA rule that is concerned with protecting patients' privacy and security.
Modern Healthcare reports that under a new privacy and security rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, all business associates to healthcare providers and their subcontractors are now obliged to protect patient medical records or be subject to enhanced penalties for federal privacy and security law violations. Increased penalties for negligent violations under the new rule can be as high as $1.5 million a year.
Before 2009, the biggest legal worry of business associates in regard to their relationships with hospitals, physicians and other covered entities was about breach of contract liability, said Belfort.
Since then, "the level of seriousness about developing all the (privacy and security) safeguards has really increased." But the new rule went even further, extending liability "down the chain to subcontractors," Belfort said. "It's greatly expanding the universe of companies that are now subject to penalties under the law."
Read the article here.