On January 2, 2014, HHS published a proposed rule to promote more consistent testing processes for “controlling health plans” (CHP) to enable these entities to better achieve and demonstrate compliance with HIPAA standards and operating rules. Specifically, the rule would require a CHP to submit documentation demonstrating compliance with HIPAA standards and operating rules for three electronic transactions: eligibility for a health plan, health care claim status, and health care electronic funds transfers and remittance advice. This documentation, which would indicate that a CHP has completed some internal and external testing, would be required to be submitted by December 31, 2015. The proposed rule also would establish penalty fees for a CHP that fails to comply with the certification of compliance requirements. Comments on the proposal will be accepted until March 3, 2014.

* In a notice scheduled for publication on March 5, 2014, CMS extended the comment period until April 3, 2014.