Ruling Could Limit Privacy Rule
Health Data Management (June 7, 2005)

A ruling from the Justice Department could limit criminal convictions for violations of the HIPAA medical privacy rule, the New York Times reports.

The ruling, which is not yet published, interprets “covered entities” as organizations, not the employees within the organizations, according to the Times. Consequently, only an organization could be prosecuted for criminal violations.

To date, the federal government has successfully prosecuted one individual on criminal charges of violating the privacy rule. The status of that conviction in the wake of the new ruling is not yet clear.

The Justice Department this week will publish the ruling, according to a spokesperson. It will be available at usdoj.gov. Under the Organization Chart on the left side of the home page, click on Office of Legal Counsel.

Posted to HIPAAcomply 6/10/05