Beginning on October 17, 2016, medical practices (and other Covered Entities) who serve Medicare, Medicaid, VA, or TRICARE beneficiaries will be required to implement new practices related to nondiscrimination. The Final Rule, nearly 6 years in the making, is commonly called “Section 1557”--it implements Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, the purpose of which is to prevent discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability
There is still time to protect your company or practice. In preparation for potential OCR audits, health care providers and health technology companies should conduct an internal audit of their compliance with State and Federal privacy and security rules, including HIPAA, and begin to address any shortfalls. OCR's increased budget and strategic plans related to HIPAA enforcement should remind the healthcare community of the growing commitment of the Federal Government to strictly enforce its privacy and security protections. Contact your healthcare attorney for advice on how to address your compliance posture.