Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996 (HIPAA)
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, better known as HIPAA, originated from the growing public concern of how their private health care information was being used. In order to address these concerns, Congress passed this new Act to protect the privacy, confidentiality and security of patient information.
Intent and Purpose
The intent of HIPAA is to improve health care efficiency and to simplify procedures involved in health care insurance. In addition, HIPAA created laws regarding the privacy and security of health care records ((Pozgar, 2012)). Health care providers were given until April 2003 to implicate these new HIPAA regulations and make them a standard way of life within their practices. Congress hope for this Act was to serve the patients by gaining their trust that their medical information would be protected and that this information would only be shared if the patient has given their written consent.
How it Works
Covered entities defined by HIPAA as being individuals, organizations, and agencies must comply with the rules’ requirements to protect the privacy and security of patients health information (www.cdc.gov). Although it may appear that the Act applies to everyone involved in administering health care services, this is not true, if an entity is not covered they do not have to comply with the privacy or security rules.
Under the HIPAA Act the patients’ privacy and security is optimum and the number one focus of all involved in the care of the individual. Permission has to be given before doctors, nurses or other health care providers can disclose any information placed in the patients’ medical records. Information should only be disseminated on a need to know basis and only to those as outlined under the HIPAA Act. Any conversations concerning the care or treatment of the patient is also covered under these rules; as well...