March 18, 2021

ACR Urges HHS to Revise Burdensome Provisions in HIPAA Proposed Rule

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) submitted comments in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to modify the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. The NPRM was issued as part of the Trump Administration’s Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care.

ACR comments concurred with the NPRM’s stated goals of “empowering patients with greater access to their health information” and “lifting unnecessary regulations weighing down the healthcare industry,” but expressed concern that in including such a complex topic in the Agency’s Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care, the NPRM has not been afforded the thorough and deliberative development and vetting process appropriate to such an important topic.

ACR comments focused on proposed provisions that could be unduly complex and burdensome in the medical imaging context, and urged a rethinking of the proposed rule with an additional opportunity for public comment on a more detailed and defined proposal. The ACR also urged that the final rule clearly delineate safe harbors to relieve covered entities of the burden of interpreting poorly defined and ambiguous regulatory constructs.