This post was originally published to Seyfarth’s Global Privacy Watch blog.

Seyfarth Synopsis: This past Monday, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its final rule aimed at strengthening the HIPAA Privacy rules as they are applied to reproductive health data.

On the heels of the release of the 2022 US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Biden Administration directed the Federal agencies to examine what they could do to protect women’s health and privacy. Shortly thereafter, HHS released guidance under HIPAA related to reproductive health care services under a health plan, focusing on information required to be disclosed by law, for law enforcement purposes, and to avert a serious threat to health or safety (see our earlier Alert here). Then, in April 2023, HHS issued proposed modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule aimed at these concerns. A year later, the agency finalized those rules on April 22, 2024 – the Final Rule.Continue Reading HHS Strengthens HIPAA Rules to Protect Reproductive Health Privacy

Seyfarth Synopsis: The agencies have finalized a portion of their proposed rules impacting so-called “junk insurance” regarding short-term limited-duration insurance, but deferred finalizing the more significant changes that would have impacted most fixed indemnity policies. 

In early April 2024, the Treasury Department, Department of Labor, and Health and Human Services (the “agencies”) issued final rules regarding short-term limited-duration insurance (STLDI). Avid readers of this blog may recall our earlier post on the proposed rules, found here, which impacted STLDI as well as other issues surrounding excepted benefits. The new final rules primarily address the STLDI portion of the proposed rules, and generally adopt them as proposed. Aside from a new notice requirement, the agencies delayed finalizing the rules on fixed indemnity insurance, but warned that the delay should not be an endorsement of the abusive practices that have emerged in this space.Continue Reading Agencies Defer Final Action on Junk Insurance, While Suggesting Caution Against One Last “Binge”

Seyfarth Synopsis: Under a Tri-Agency Proposed Rule, health plans could be required to report information relating to air ambulance services by March 31, 2023. As this proposed deadline approaches, plan sponsors should reach out to their third party administrators to determine what assistance, if any, will be provided relating to these reporting requirements.

Just as

Seyfarth Synopsis: Plans have been scrambling to gather data and work with providers in preparation for the December 27, 2022 deadline to report prescription drug and health care spending information. Just in time for the holidays, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury (the “Departments”) have issued FAQs related to Prescription Drug

Seyfarth Synopsis: As employers continue to struggle with strategies for safely re-opening their workplaces, we have previously discussed the possibility of mandating a vaccine or providing incentives for getting the vaccine. [Here] As employers shift their focus toward the cost of COVID hospitalizations (which studies show are a much greater risk for unvaccinated individuals), employers

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed changes to the required Privacy Notice under the HIPAA privacy regulations. If finalized, these would be the first significant changes to the HIPAA rules since the HITECH changes effective back in 2013.

The press release issued by HHS on December 10, 2020, states