HHS expands health IT promo work with Ketchum

WASHINGTON: The Department of Health and Human Services has expanded its work with Ketchum as the federal department promotes electronic health records and other forms of health-related IT.

WASHINGTON: The Department of Health and Human Services has expanded its work with Ketchum as the federal department promotes electronic health records and other forms of health-related IT.

Specifically, HHS' Office for Civil Rights is paying the firm more than $1.7 million to promote the release of materials that support modifications to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996's (HIPAA) privacy, security, enforcement, and breach notification rules.

Ketchum will work to educate healthcare professionals and consumers about the availability of Office of Civil Rights resources, an HHS spokesperson said via email.

The modifications to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules and guidance are required because of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which was enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a representative said.

Ketchum's work for the Office of Civil Rights falls under the contract that HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information has with the Omnicom Group firm.

In August, HHS' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services awarded a $3.9 million contract to launch a campaign promoting the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs.

The initiative provides incentive payments to eligible professionals, hospitals, and critical access hospitals as they adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic record technology, according to the RFP for the contract.

A representative from Ketchum did not return a request for comment.

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