The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights will host four regional meetings to train staff from state and territorial attorneys general offices on enforcement of the HIPAA privacy and security rules.

Speaking March 9 at the National HIPAA Summit in Washington, Susan McAndrew, deputy director for health information privacy at OCR, said the office would pay all expenses for two members of each attorney general office, reports.

The HITECH Act gives attorneys general authority to enforce the privacy and security rules through civil actions.

In a statement on its Web site, OCR welcomes collaboration with attorneys general seeking to bring actions to enforce the rules, and will provide information upon request about pending or concluded OCR actions against covered entities or business associates related to state investigations.

The training sessions will provide an overview of the privacy and security rules and related HITECH Act provisions, investigative techniques for identifying and prosecuting potential violations, a review of HIPAA and state laws, OCR's enforcement role, state attorneys general roles and responsibilities under HIPAA and HITECH, resources for states in pursuing alleged violations, and HIPAA enforcement support and results.

The two-day training sessions are scheduled for April 4-5 in Dallas, May 9-10 in Atlanta, May 19-20 in Washington and June 13-14 in San Francisco. More information is available here.

Goedert is the news editor of Health Data Management, a SourceMedia publication.

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