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Statement from AHIMA CEO on Proposed Modification to HIPAA Privacy Rule

CHICAGO – December 10, 2020 – “We are pleased to see the long-awaited release of the Office of Civil Rights’ (OCR) proposed modification to the HIPAA Privacy Rule that aims to empower patients and enhance care coordination.

“In particular, we are pleased the rule proposes strengthening the individual right of access under HIPAA. We are also pleased it seeks to clarify how an individual’s right to direct their protected health information (PHI) to a third party should be treated. In certain instances, this has led to delays in individuals being able to access their medical record.

“We also look forward to reviewing OCR’s proposal to clarify the scope of covered entities’ ability to disclose PHI to social service agencies or community-based support programs. As social determinants of health increasingly become a priority for many providers, the sharing of information across clinical and non-clinical settings may include PHI. This makes it critically important to prioritize the privacy, security, and confidentiality of this sensitive information.

“We look forward to closely examining the specifics of the proposed rule.”

Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE
Chief Executive Officer

Editor’s note: Read AHIMA’s recently published policy statement on social determinants of health.


AHIMA is a global nonprofit association of health information (HI) professionals. AHIMA represents professionals who work with health data for more than one billion patient visits each year. AHIMA’s mission of empowering people to impact health drives our members and credentialed HI professionals to ensure that health information is accurate, complete, and available to patients and providers. Our leaders work at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and business, and are found in data integrity and information privacy job functions worldwide.

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