On July 28, 2010, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it withdrew the draft of the final rule for HIPAA breach notification that it had submitted in May to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The possible reasons for such withdrawal will be discussed below, but covered entities should note that the obligation to report breaches of unsecured protected health information (PHI), which took effect on September 23, 2009, following the publication of an Interim Final Rule promulgated under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), remains in effect. All covered entities, and their business associates, should have in place and/or adhere to an effective Breach Notification Policy containing appropriate procedures to investigate, report and mitigate breaches of privacy or security of PHI.… Continue Reading