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The HITECH Act & Breach Notification

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) made significant changes to the HIPAA privacy and security rules, including imposing a general requirement that covered entities notify individuals when their “unsecured” protected health information ("PHI") is breached. This requirement is commonly referred to as the “Breach Notification Rule.”

Covered entities, as well as business associates, must only provide the required notification if the breach involves unsecured protected health information. Unsecured protected health information is protected health information that has not been rendered unusable, unreadable, or indecipherable to unauthorized individuals through the use of certain technology or methodologies.  

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