New cybersecurity legislation to amend the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act – an analysis of H.R. 7898

New legislation was passed by Congress and signed by the president on January 5, 2021 that amends the HITECH Act with an additional section titled: SEC. 13412. RECOGNITION OF SECURITY PRACTICES. The fundamental driver for amending HITECH is to ensure the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the constituent HHS offices (e.g., the Office for Civil Rights) take into consideration whether a covered entity or business associate is using appropriate and recognized security best practices when investigating a complaint or responding to a breach of protected health information (PHI).

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