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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA) regulatory enforcement of federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards in states lacking conforming laws, focusing on the: (1) tasks required of HCFA to assume the role of insurance regulator for HIPAA provisions in states lacking conforming laws and the extent to which the agency has undertaken them; (2) factors that influence HCFA's ability to fulfill these duties; and (3) implications of this new federal regulatory role.

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