Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. Final Privacy Rule Preamble.. Standards for Certain Group Health Plans


We add a new provision (§ 164.530(k)) to clarify the administrative responsibilities of group health plans that offer benefits through issuers and HMOs. Specifically, a group health plan that provides benefits solely through an issuer or HMO, and that does not create, receive or maintain protected health information other than summary health information or information regarding enrollment and disenrollment, is not subject to the requirements of this section regarding designation of a privacy official and contact person, workforce training, safeguards, complaints, mitigation, or policies and procedures. Such a group health plan is only subject to the requirements of this section regarding documentation with respect to its plan documents. Issuers and HMOs are covered entities under this rule, and thus have independent obligations to comply with this section with respect to the protected health information they maintain about the enrollees in such group health plans. The group health plans subject to this provision will have only limited protected health information. Therefore, imposing these requirements on the group health plan would impose burdens not outweighed by a corresponding enhancement in privacy protections.