NRPM: Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. a. Designation of a privacy official. (§ 164.518(a))

11/03/1999

In proposed § 164.518(a), we would require covered entities to designate an employee or other person to serve as the official responsible for the development of policies and procedures for the use and disclosure of protected health information. The designation of an official would focus the responsibility for development of privacy policy.

We considered whether covered entities should be required to designate a single official or an entire board. We concluded that a single official would better serve the purposes of focusing the responsibility and providing accountability within the entity. The implementation of this requirement would depend on the size of the entity. For example, a small physician’s practice might designate the office manager as the privacy official, and he or she would assume this as one of his or her broader administrative responsibilities. A large entity might appoint a person whose sole responsibility is privacy policy, and he or she might choose to convene a committee representing several different components of the entity to develop and implement privacy policy.