February 2003 Bulletin

In Brief

In the News

HIPAA Security Rule and TCS Changes Delayed

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule, as well as changes to the Transactions and Code Sets (TCS) Rules, were not published on schedule. Information concerning these regulations was expected to appear in the Federal Register in late December 2002. The Security Rule, which is intended to protect the integrity of electronic health data, still faces budgetary review from the Office of Management and Budget. The review process, which normally takes two weeks, could take much longer with a rule as large and complex as the Security Rule. Originally, covered entities were required to be in compliance with the Transactions and Code Sets regulations by October 16, 2002. However, practices that filed a Compliance Plan prior to that date were granted a one-year extension, until October 16, 2003. Such covered entities, however, are still required to begin active testing activities by April 16, 2003. The date when practices must comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule remains April 14, 2003.

AAOS introduces two new discussion groups.

The AAOS Evidence-Based Practice Committee is introducing two new discussion groups, one on evidence-based practice and the other on outcomes data collection.

New e-newsletter for residents launched

The AAOS Office of Academic Affairs has initiated a new quarterly e-newsletter for residents. The newsletter covers clinical topics, practice tips, and Internet resources as well as a calendar of events of interest to orthopaedic residents.

Unpleasant surprise

Some of you may have received an unpleasant surprise recently when you tried to access the AAOS Web site. Instead of connecting to the Academy site you may have found yourself instead at a Spanish language pornographic site. You probably inadvertently entered "www.aaos.com" instead of "www.aaos.org." We certainly do not intend to expose our members and their patients to pornographic materials and share their embarrassment when this happens. However, these situations occur more often than any of us want. Unfortunately, there is nothing that AAOS can do about this situation other than to alert members to make sure they enter ‘org’ instead of ‘com’ when accessing the Academy Web site.

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