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What HR regulations and changes you need to look out for in 2012?

It's time for your 2012 work plan, mark your calendar for these upcoming new human resources related rules or changes with deadlines in 2012 that require some research and planning for implementation prior to the due date.  
  • W-2 reporting requirements - As per the new IRS guidelines, employers with 250 or more employees in 2012 have to report individual health insurance costs on those workers’ W-2s (which will be issued in 2013).  Small employers can wait another year.  The IRS has said the reporting requirement for small employers could be pushed back even further.  The W-2 reporting requirements do not make workers’ healthcare benefits taxable.  They simply meant to let employees know how much their coverage costs.  

When is the HIPAA audit start?

Will you be the target of an HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) HIPAA privacy and security audit? 

The HITECH Act requires HHS to conduct periodic audits to ensure covered entities and business associates are complying with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. To implement this mandate, OCR is piloting a program to perform up to 150 audits of covered entities for compliance. Audits conducted during the pilot phase will begin November 2011 and conclude by December 2012.

All health care providers, health plans of all sized and functions, health care clearinghouses and business associates may be selected for an audit. OCR will select and audit as wide a range of types and sizes of covered entities as possible.  Business Associates will be included in future audits.  

OCR will use this pilot audit program to examine the mechanisms for compliance, identify best practices, and discover risks and vulnerabilities that haven’t otherwise come to light. All audits will include site visits and the issuance of audit reports.

HIPAA 5010 Delay in Enforcement, Not in Implementation Date

Great,  I saw the news HIPAA 5010 is delayed and I think I have more time to implement.  But what does it mean when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of E-Health Standards and Services, announced they won’t enforce compliance with the HIPAA 5010 transaction set until March 31, 2012?  

To clarify, CMS did not change the actual implementation date of HIPAA 5010. Providers must still comply with the 5010 transaction standards by January 1, 2012 and small health plans have until January 1, 2013.  So if providers submit claims to small health plans, they have until January 2013. 

CMS also simply decided it will not take any enforcement actions until March 31, 2012, if they receive any complaint against the covered entities for non-compliance.  Many covered entities are still waiting for software updates.  

CMS will accept complaints related to compliance between January 1 and March 30, 2012. Covered entities will have to provide evidence that they are complying or are making a good faith effort to comply with the new HIPAA standards during the 90-day period if asked. 

The 90-day delay will not affect the implementation date for the ICD-10-CM/PCS coding systems. That date remains October 1, 2013.  All HIPAA covered entities are required to switch to HIPAA 5010 in preparation for the conversion to ICD-10-CM/PCS.  

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