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    Reminder: Update Your "Grandfathered" Business Associate Agreements By September 23, 2014; Final Meaningful Use Regulations Published

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    REMINDER: UPDATE YOUR “GRANDFATHERED” BUSINESS ASSOCIATE AGREEMENTS BY SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Omnibus Final Rule, published in the January 25, 2013 Federal Register, forced covered entities and business associate to update most business associate agreements last year. However, the regulations set an alternate deadline for agreements that were entered into before January 25, 2013 and have not been renewed or modified in the intervening months.

    These “grandfathered” agreements must be compliant with the Omnibus Final Rule by September 23, 2014.


    FINAL MEANINGFUL USE REGULATIONS PUBLISHED

    On September 4, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) published in the Federal Registerfinal rule on meaningful use. Significantly, the final rule provides additional flexibility by allowing eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals to use the 2011 Edition Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT), the 2014 Edition CEHRT, or a combination of the two for the 2014 reporting period. Beginning in 2015, however, participants will be required to use the 2014 CEHRT exclusively. An updated meaningful use timeline and a chart with 2011 and 2014 CEHRT Edition options are can be found with the text of the rule.

    Other important provisions of the final rule include:

    • delaying the start of Stage 3 to January 1, 2017 (CY 2017) for eligible professionals, and to October 1, 2016 (FY 2017) for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals to allow participants more time to meet the Stage 2 requirements and work towards Stage 3; and

    • a year-long reporting period for Stage 2 instead of the 90-day periods urged by some stakeholders to avoid risking progress to the program or additional delay in creating the desired healthcare infrastructure.

    NEXT STEPS

    Edwards Wildman’s Healthcare Practice Group will continue to monitor healthcare news from Capitol Hill, CMS, HHS, and other federal and state agencies, and will bring you timely updates as new developments occur. 


    Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP is pleased to provide regular updates on issues affecting the Healthcare industry. Our lawyers not only provide sophisticated legal services to a broad array of clients in the healthcare industry, we also monitor and analyze federal and state legislative and regulatory processes to ensure that our clients are informed of government actions and initiatives.

    Should you have any questions on the content of this advisory, or wish to discuss any other healthcare related issue, please contact those linked above or call the Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP attorney responsible for your affairs.

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