Read The Regulations

Periodicals, blog posts and journal articles are great for gaining an understanding of complicated laws such as HIPAA and the HITECH Act. But, if you are responsible for such an area for an organization, I highly recommend that you read the actual text of the regulation.

Reading the regulations will help you avoid the trap of subscribing to conventional wisdom that is NOT wise. Having an understanding of what the regulations really say will help you find the best solution for your organization.

And, I find that the laws are surprisingly readable. In the case of the Meaningful Use Final Rules, the first 85% of each rule is ONC’s response to all of the comments that they received. These are very insightful and, in my opinion  well-written. The actual regulations are really just a few pages and are a very quick read. The most confusing part is when the rule’s reference a specific standard using the legal number system. But that is navigable (the Find function is your friend).

Comments: 2

  1. Nancy Davis March 5, 2013 at 06:25 Reply

    It is critical read the regulations, but I must confess I rely heavily on the summaries that are created by many of the top legal firms and provided at no charge. Hall & Render does an excellent job.

  2. John Lynn - EMR and HIPAA April 10, 2013 at 13:20 Reply

    Both types of content have their place depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. The problem with the regs is exactly what you describe. In a 300 page regulation there might be 5 pages in the middle that really matter and are the actual regulation. All the other pages are background, reference material, a discussion of the comments, etc etc etc. Knowing which 5 pages really matter is the key to reading the regs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *