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A Better Partnership


Aug 2010
August 06, 2010

Warner Norcross Partner Serves on ABA Committees on Health Law Reform, HIPAA

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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About Warner Norcross & Judd

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP is one of the leading law firms in Michigan. With nearly 220 attorneys in Grand Rapids, Southfield, Sterling Heights, Lansing, Holland and Muskegon, Warner Norcross is a full-service provider of legal services. Nearly half of our partners are listed in the 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Warner Norcross has been recognized for business excellence and workplace flexibility with an Alfred P. Sloan Award, as a national leader in client service among law firms by BTI Consulting, as one of the nation's leading employment law firms by Workforce Management, as one of the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For in both West Michigan and Metro Detroit and as one of the Best Michigan Businesses by Corp! Magazine. The Firm represents local, statewide, regional, national and international clients in all areas of business and civil law.

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