News & Updates
April 29, 2021
Alert: Postcard Disguised as Official OCR Communication
OCR has been made aware of postcards being sent to health care organizations informing the recipients that they are required to participate in a “Required Security Risk Assessment” and they are directed to send their risk assessment to www.hsaudit.org. The link directs individuals to a non-governmental website marketing consulting services.
Please be advised that this postcard notification did not come from OCR or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  This communication is from a private entity – it is NOT an HHS/OCR communication. HIPAA covered entities and business associates should alert their workforce members to this misleading communication. Covered entities and business associates can verify that a communication is from OCR by looking for the OCR address or email address, which will end in @hhs.gov, on any communication that purports to be from OCR, and asking for a confirming email from the OCR investigator’s hhs.gov email address. 
If organizations have additional questions or concerns, please send an email to: OCRMail@hhs.gov.
Episode 33- Paying it Forward with Darnell Dent, Principal, Dent Advisory Services, LLC
CAQH Launches National Directory of FHIR Endpoints and Third-Party Apps
Centralized resource streamlines information sharing between health plans, Medicaid agencies and third-party app developers ahead of CMS Interoperability and Patient Access rule deadlines.
Health Equity Technical Assistance
The CMS Office of Minority Health offers Health Equity Technical Assistance aimed to help health care organizations take action against health disparities. Personalized coaching and resources to help you embed health equity into your strategic plan include data collection and analysis, developing a language access plan, ensuring effective communication, information on the Minority Research Grant Program, or assistance with the Mapping Medicare Disparities Tool.
Implementing the HIPAA Security Rule: Call for Comments on NIST SP 800-66, Revision 1
The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is planning to update the NIST Special Publication (SP) 800—66, Revision 1, An Introductory Resource Guide for Implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule (“Resource Guide”).
 
Recognizing that covered entities and business associates have diverse ways of implementing the HIPAA Security Rule, NIST is soliciting feedback about how organizations are implementing the Resource Guide, its application, and its use in practice. You can view the Call for Comments here:  https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/sp/800-66/rev-2/draft
 
The comment period is open through June 15, 2021. Comments may be submitted via email to: sp800-66-comments@nist.gov with “Resource Guide for Implementing the HIPAA Security Rule Call for Comments” in the subject field.  Once completed, the resulting draft of SP 800-66, Rev. 2, will be provided for public review and comment.
CMS proposes to enhance the medical workforce in rural and underserved communities to support COVID-19 recovery and beyond
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule (CMS-1752-P) today for inpatient and long-term care hospitals that builds on the Biden Administration’s key priorities to close health care equity gaps and provide greater accessibility to care. Major provisions in the proposed rule would fund medical residency positions in hospitals in rural and underserved communities to address workforce shortages, and require hospitals to report COVID-19 vaccination rates among their workers to contain the spread of the virus.
ONC Annual Meeting 2021: Perspectives on the Impact of SDOH on Health Equity and Care
Health equity and social determinants of health (SDOH) data were a recurring theme at this year’s ONC Annual Meeting. Leveraging these important data, which reflect where people are born, live, learn, work and play can have a significant impact on patient care and public health. SDOH data provide opportunities for promoting health equity and improving patient outcomes if they are better integrated into the electronic health record (EHR).
Sync for Genes Phase 4 Demonstrations Selected
Since its launch in 2017, the ONC Sync for Genes project has advanced the standardized sharing of genomic information between laboratories, providers, patients, and researchers. Phase 4 centers on improving the electronic exchange of genomic data between organizations with at least one data receiver, such as a patient or family caregiver. Notably, the two demonstration sites ONC selected, The Utah Newborn Screening (NBS) Program and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), are both seeking to implement standards to improve the care of pediatric patients. 
HHS Announces $1 Billion from American Rescue Plan for Construction and Renovation Projects at Health Centers
Health centers that receive this funding will be able to use it for COVID-19 related capital needs and to construct new facilities, renovate and expand existing facilities, and purchase new equipment.
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The next Remittance Advice & Payment Subworkgroup meeting will be May 3rd at 11ET.
The subworkgroup will be working on updates to the PLB paper related to regulatory adjustments.
WEDI workgroups provide thoughtful leadership and common-sense approaches that enhance the exchange of clinical and administrative healthcare information. They collect input, exchange ideas, and make recommendations that inspire impactful and far-reaching change in our industry.