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HHS Announces Proposed Changes to HIPAA Privacy Rule

On May 31, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (?Ç£HHS?Ç¥) released a notice of proposed rulemaking containing changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (?Ç£HIPAA?Ç¥) Privacy Rule, pursuant to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (?Ç£HITECH?Ç¥). The proposed rules provide individuals with the right to receive an access report discussing any electronic access to their protected health information (?Ç£PHI?Ç¥). Also included in the proposed rule are changes to the accounting requirements for disclosures of PHI which are intended to better provide individuals with such disclosure information that is most likely to impact the individuals?ÇÖ legal and personal interests. Comments are requested on the proposed rule through August 1, 2011. The proposed rule can be found here.

Retirement Plan Fee Disclosures Effective Dates Extended

Last year, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an interim final rule regarding fee disclosures from pension plan service providers to fiduciaries and a final rule regarding fee disclosures from plan administrators to participants. The DOL has proposed that the fiduciary-level disclosure rule not apply until January 1, 2012. This would align its applicability date with the participant-level fee disclosure rule, which is applicable for plan years beginning on or after November 1, 2011. The DOL has also proposed an extension of the transition provisions in the participant-level disclosure rule, which would permit initial disclosures to be made within 120 days (instead of 60 days) after the plan becomes subject to the participant-level disclosure rule.

June 2011