Warner Norcross & Judd LLP partner Norbert Kugele is serving on two committees for the American Bar Association that are commenting on health law reform and changes to federal patient privacy laws.
Kugele is serving on a subcommittee of the Employee Benefits Committee of the ABA Section on Taxation that will comment to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on proposed regulations implementing the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH, to the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. Kugele and his committee are focusing on regulations that deal with changes to business associate relationship, expansion of individual rights to access and restrict data, and tougher penalties for HIPAA violations.
The HITECH Act was part of the federal recovery program passed last year and will invest $20 billion in health information technology infrastructure to develop national standards for and strengthen federal patient privacy laws in light of technology changes, among other initiatives. Signed into law in 1996, HIPAA safeguards the privacy of patient health information.
Kugele concentrates his practice in employee benefits, privacy and information security. He led the firm's HIPAA Task Force and continues to lecture and write about HIPAA and related privacy issues.
Kugele is wrapping up work on another subcommittee of the ABA Section on Taxation's Employee Benefits Committee that is finalizing comments to the U.S. Treasury Department on recently released interim regulations implementing health care reform. Specifically, the subcommittee has focused on regulations dealing with pre-existing condition exclusions, annual and lifetime limits and patient protections.
Active professionally, Kugele is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan and Grand Rapids Bar Association. Additionally, he is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, the Catholic Lawyers of West Michigan and serves on the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Health Care and Human Resources Committee.
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