Mandates in the health reform law to adopt "operating rules" for a series of existing and new HIPAA transactions between 2013 and 2016 should be achievable, says the leader of the initiative that has been creating such rules during the past five years. The rules are designed to make electronic claims and related transactions far more uniform than they are today.

"We have experience in how long it takes to write rules and implement them," notes Gwendolyn Lohse, managing director of the initiative, called the Committee for Operating Rules (CORE), which operates under the umbrella of CAQH, a Washington-based alliance of health plans and trade associations. "The timelines are achievable as the industry comes around to this concept."

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