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HHS/OCR RIN: 0945-AA05 Publication ID: Fall 2013 
Title: HIPAA Privacy Rule and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) 
Abstract: This proposed rule would modify the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to expressly permit certain HIPAA covered entities to disclose to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) the identities of individuals who are subject to a Federal "mental health prohibitor" that disqualifies them from possessing or receiving a firearm. 
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services(HHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 45 CFR 164 
Legal Authority: PL 104-191; President's Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions 
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: This proposed rule is needed to ensure that entities that perform involuntary commitments or make adjudications causing individuals to be disqualified from possessing or receiving a firearm under the Federal mental health prohibitor can report to the NICS.

Summary of the Legal Basis: On January 16, 2013, President Barack Obama announced 23 Executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence across the nation, including a specific commitment to address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which may prevent states from making information available to the NICS.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: The rule does not establish any new requirements and is expected to be cost neutral. Possible unquantified benefits include increased flexibility for States and covered entities to report to the NICS, and increased public safety as a result of increased reporting to the NICS.

Risks: Not applicable.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM  04/23/2013  78 FR 23872 
ANPRM Comment Period End  06/07/2013   
NPRM  12/00/2013   
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: State 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL: www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Andra Wicks
Department of Health and Human Services
Office for Civil Rights
200 Independence Avenue SW.,
Washington, DC 20201
Phone:202 205-2292
Fax:202 205-4786
Email: andra.wicks@hhs.gov

 
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