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Guidelines and Recommendations

HHS Launches ‘Information is Powerful Medicine’ Campaign – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) launched the Information Is Powerful Medicine campaign.  The campaign contributes to Department-wide efforts guided by the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) to improve health outcomes for all people living with HIV/AIDS. Through printed materials and online resources, the campaign provides important messages about the right to see and get a copy of personal medical records (called the right to access), a cornerstone of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. The campaign presents information on the HIPAA Privacy Rule in clear, understandable language because trust in the privacy of health information is of critical importance for people living with HIV.  Learn more about the Information Is Powerful Medicine campaign and Health Information Privacy.  Read the press release.

New USPSTF HIV Testing Recommendation –  The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a new Recommendation Statement on screening for HIV. USPSTF gave a “Grade A” recommendation for routine HIV screening for all people aged 15 to 65, as well as younger adolescents and older adults who are at an increased risk for HIV infection. It also gave a “Grade A” recommendation for HIV screening for all pregnant women, including those in labor whose HIV status is unknown. Implementation of these recommendations will aid substantially in efforts to improve the HIV treatment cascade and achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.  The “Grade A” recommendation is important because under the Affordable Care Act, private health insurance policies created after March 23, 2010 are required to offer all preventive services that have been given an “A” or “B” recommendation by USPSTF , at no extra cost to the consumer. The law also gives state Medicaid programs financial incentives to cover USPSTF-recommended preventive services for adults. With these new USPSTF recommendations, more Americans will receive HIV screening with no out-of-pocket expenses.  Read the Screening for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) fact sheet to learn more about the recommendation.  Learn more about the importance of the new USPSTF’s Recommendation Statement.

New Tools to Educate Consumers and Providers about HIPAA Privacy and Security – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has developed a range of new tools to educate consumers and health care providers about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules.   The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects the privacy of an individual’s recognizable health information. The HIPAA Security Rule sets national standards for the security of protected electronic health information.  OCR has posted a series of factsheets, also available in eight languages, to inform consumers about their rights under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The fact sheets compliment a set of seven videos released earlier this year on OCR’s YouTube channel.  OCR has also launched three modules for health care providers on compliance with various aspects of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. For more information, please visit Health Information Privacy or Guidance Materials for Consumers.