HHS Extends HIPAA Enforcement Rule
Health Data Management (September 14, 2005)

The Department of Health and Human Services has extended by six months the expiration date of an interim final HIPAA enforcement rule. The department now expects to have a comprehensive final rule in place by March 16, 2006.

The interim final rule, first published April 17, 2003, covers procedures for investigating alleged violations of HIPAA’s administrative simplification rules and the imposition of civil monetary penalties.

HHS last September extended the interim final rule by a year, ending on Sept. 16. In April 2005, the department published a proposed final enforcement rule and accepted comment through June 17.

“Notwithstanding this extension, HHS fully expects to issue the final rule that will result from this pending rulemaking as soon as possible,” the department stated in a notice published Sept. 14 in the Federal Register. “However, the six-month extension should provide HHS with a period sufficient to avoid another extension, should unexpected circumstances delay the regulatory development process.”

Text of the notice of extension of the interim final HIPAA enforcement rule is available at gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.

Posted to HIPAAcomply 9/15/05