Testimony: Limit Mandates on Operating Rules

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Entities developing "operating rules" to make HIPAA administrative/financial transactions more uniform should not be compelled to address additional issues not mandated under the Accountable Care Act, according to testimony today in Washington.

The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, a federal advisory body, heard testimony from two organizations--CAQH and the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs--developing operating rules for specific transactions. "Additional topics have not been vetted fully by the entire industry and therefore must not be imposed on the entire industry," noted Lynne Gilbertson, vice president of standards development at NCPDP.

Such topics include connectivity, response time, system availability and insurer companion guides. For instance, there is concern in the industry about regulations that would require Internet connectivity over private network connections. Any regulations that would include connectivity must permit existing connections via a safe harbor, Gilbertson testified. "The regulation must not require a 'rip and replace' of infrastructure already in place," she noted in a PowerPoint presentation submitted to the committee.

Further, any such regulation must clarify that trading partners negotiate connectivity and must be given the option of supporting both public or privacy connectivity, she added.

NCPDP's PowerPoint is available at ncpdp.org/news_feds.aspx#NCVHS, under Operating Rules.

--Joseph Goedert


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