As the HHS Office for Civil Rights prepares to expand random audits of HIPAA privacy/security rule compliance this year, the scope of the audit program isn’t yet clear. But HIMSS14 could provide clarity as OCR officials will be on hand to provide more details about the office's Feb. 24 announcement of a "pre-audit" survey.

What is now known is that OCR is preparing the survey of up to 1,200 covered entities that include health care providers, insurers, claims clearinghouses and business associates to determine their suitability for a HIPAA audit.

“The survey will gather information about respondents to enable OCR to assess the size, complexity and fitness of a respondent for an audit,” according to a notice  published on Feb. 24 and now available here. “Information collected includes, among other things, recent data about the number of patient visits or insured lives, use of electronic information, revenue and business locations.” OCR expects the survey will take about 30 minutes to complete.

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