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HHS Releases Supplemental HIPAA Regulations


On Friday, May 31, 2002, HHS released three new rules affecting electronic transactions and code sets under HIPAA. First, HHS issued a Final Rule which adopts as the "standard unique employer identifier" for HIPAA transactions, the employer identification number assigned by the IRS. This final rule is substantially the same as initially proposed. The second is a proposed rule which would modify standards for certain retail pharmacy transactions (specifically, referral certification and authorization, health care payment and remittance advice, and certain batch transactions) and would repeal the adoption of National Drug Codes (NDC) as the standard medical data code set for reporting drugs and biologics for all standard transactions (excluding retail pharmacy transactions), thereby allowing the industry to utilize nonstandard coding systems. HHS requests comment on the adoption of HCPCS as an alternative standard code set for reporting drugs and biologics for non- retail pharmacy transactions. Third, HHS issued a proposed rule which would adopt, by reference, certain limited technical modifications to some of the transactions standards previously identified by the Designated Standard Maintenance Organizations and approved by National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics. The proposed rule does not list these modifications specifically, but rather, refers to the website.

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