President Bush Proposes Funding for HIPAA Enforcement
From Health Data Management (2/5/03)

In a 103-page briefing paper, available at www.hhs.gov/budget/docbudget.htm, President Bush’s proposed budget for the Department of Health and Human Services would provide the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with $10 million in fiscal 2004 to begin activities related to enforcement of HIPAA’s transactions and code sets, security and identifier rules.

“In order to enforce the HIPAA standards, CMS will assemble an enforcement staff, write an enforcement regulation that outlines the enforcement program, implement the enforcement system and begin to accept complaints,” according to the briefing paper. “CMS intends to provide education and technical assistance to covered entities to help them achieve compliance, rather than seeking out noncompliant entities and imposing fines on them. If a covered entity is found to be noncompliant, CMS will work with them to achieve compliance and will only impose civil monetary penalties if these efforts fail.”

The proposed 2004 HHS budget includes $34 million in total spending for the Office of Civil Rights, which will enforce the HIPAA privacy rule. That spending level is only $1 million more than the office’s 2003 budget. It is unclear how much funding the office will have for privacy rule enforcement.

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Posted to HIPAAcomply 2/6/03