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Much to the surprise of many in the behavioral health field, the Bush administration this month reversed course and did not alter or further delay privacy regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), starting the clock on compliance efforts that must be completed by April 14, 2003.
The administration had pulled back the HIPAA privacy rules that were approved by the Clinton administration shortly before the former president left office, reopening the regulations to a 30-day comment period in March. But despite receiving more than 24,000 written responses during the most recent comment period, Bush decided to move ahead with the Clinton rules as is, while leaving the door open for future modifications.
The announcement by Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson that further …