By now, dental practitioners are likely aware that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued long-awaited changes to the Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules. The Omnibus Rule was announced on January 17 and has been the “hot topic” for folks in data privacy and security circles.

The Omnibus Rule implements several changes mandated by Congress in 2009 via the HITECH Act. For most of the elements in the Omnibus Rule, dental practices and their third-party service providers (business associates) will be required to comply by September 23, 2013.

How can you get up to speed on these new compliance obligations? Recently, HHS announced a series of 90-minute webinars designed specifically for small healthcare practices. The focus of these webinars is to present practical strategies for implementing the Omnibus Rule. These free sessions are scheduled for June 14, June 28, July 17 and July 26 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (ET) and feature the following topics:

  • Drill down on the new HITECH Privacy Rule (June 28)
  • Breach and Enforcement under the HITECH Omnibus Rule (July 17)
  • Business Associates and the HITECH Omnibus Rule (July 28)

This writer is excited about attending these webinars as they are certain to offer good information for a great price (free!). For more information and to register, visit WEDI.

As an added bonus, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is partnering with HHS to co-host the 6th annual conference on Safeguarding Health Information: Building Assurance through HIPAA Security on May 21-22. This low-cost event is available via webinar or, for those in Washington, D.C., in person at the Ronald Reagan Building.

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