The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights has released a proposed rule to modify and strengthen provisions of the HIPAA privacy, security and enforcement rules. The enforcement rule covers the HIPAA administrative simplification, privacy, security and breach notification rules.

The proposed rule, on a fast early read, does not appear to mandate encryption of protected health information. Changes proposed in the new rule from OCR are authorized under the HITECH Act. The rule is available to view and download on the Federal Register's Public Inspection Desk at http://www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx. It will be officially published in the Federal Register on July 14. Provisions of the rule include:

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