March 2000 AAOS Report

AAOS urges changes in HHS proposed privacy standards

The AAOS is concerned about the financial burden on small practices resulting from the Standards of Privacy and Individual Health Information proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The AAOS estimates the cost at $8,366, which is more than 11 times higher than the $733 estimage given by HHS. AAOS President Robert D. D'Ambrosia, MD, pointed out in a comment letter to HHS that there are additional on-going costs that cannot be determined. AAOS also is concerned about certain contract provisions of the proposed rule. HHS does not assume responsibility for directly supervising the exchange of protected medical information for administrative services. This would require providers to establish contracts with clearinghouses. Any misuse of protected medical information by the clearinghouse could result in a penalty imposed by HHS. The AAOS is urging HHS to assume this oversight responsibility.

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