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January 12, 2022

2022 HIPAA Updates In March 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) extended the comment period for proposed changes to the Privacy Rule ( 86 Fed. Reg. 13683) until May 6, 2021.  Since that time, there still has been no final rule promulgated based on this proposed rule. As was the case for HIPAA the first time, however, the formalization of the proposed rules has been slow. In March 2021, HHS extended the comment period for proposed changes to the Privacy Rule ( 86 Fed. Reg. 13683) to May 6, 2021.

The suggested changes are: Overhauling the Notice of Privacy Practice (NPP), so providers no longer need to obtain written acknowledgment of the NPP. Training for staff to be enhanced. Allow 15 calendar days to respond to a request for access (i.e., medical records) instead of 30 currently. This would also shorten the 30-day extension allowed to 15 days. Prioritize urgent/high-priority records requests and limit the use of extensions in those cases. Prohibit “unreasonable” measures that impede access to Protected Health Information (PHI).  Specific unreasonable measures suggested require the patient/personal rep to fill out the extensive request form, have it notarized, submit in person, or only accept requests through the portal.   Allow a patient to inspect PHI that is readily available at the point of care (x-ray, lab results, etc.). Require producing PHI electronically (by email or through the app) if PHI is readily produced in such ways. Provide records free of charge when a patient inspects it in person or uses internet-based methods (i.e., personal health app).  Submit to HealthCare Partners (HCP) the PHI within 15 days when a patient requests that an electronic copy be sent. Allow the right to take notes, videos, or photographs to capture PHI in a designated record set (some limitations apply).

Commentators on these issues do not think that all the proposed modifications will be finalized in the present form; however, they suggest that organizations plan, prepare, and budget for the work on the policies and training to occur in 2022. Shuttleworth & Ingersoll will continue to stay abreast of these matters and alert its clients when the final rule has been released. S&I can help its clients with the necessary policy revision/updates when the time comes.


From the Desk of Tricia L. Hoffman-Simanek

Tricia L. Hoffman-Simanek is an Attorney and Senior Vice President at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C. Her legal work focuses on the area of litigation, which includes but is not limited to, professional malpractice, long term care litigation, insurance defense, and other health law litigation. Tricia also provides advice and representation on HIPAA compliance, training, and investigations, professional licensure matters, and risk management. She has achieved an “AV” rating with Martindale-Hubbell, Inc.Tricia served as Chair of the Iowa State Bar Association Health Law Section between 2014–2016. Tricia also served on the State’s Board of Nursing Home Administrators, a licensing and disciplinary board for Iowa’s licensed Nursing Home Administrators for six years.


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About Shuttleworth & Ingersoll

Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C. is a multi-specialty law firm with offices in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Coralville, Iowa, and Waterloo, Iowa, providing legal services to clients in Iowa and around the world. Established in 1854, the firm has grown to become one of Iowa’s largest firms with approximately 60 talented and experienced lawyers who provide a full range of business, litigation, family, and intellectual property legal services. Using a collaborative, team-based approach, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll is able to provide innovative, cost-effective solutions to client problems. For more information, please visit

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