In 1996 the United States Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, better known as Hipaa. The act had two goals which were split into the acts two titles. The first was to protect the health insurance coverage of workers and their dependents when they left or changed jobs. The second was to establish national standards for electronic transmission of health care information with the goal of ensuring patient privacy.
Hipaa’s origins can be traced to 1975, when a standard hospital claim form was created by a group of health industry players, such as providers and insurance companies. This form was known as the UB- 82 form. By 1988, more than half of claims were using the UB-82 format and were submitted electronically.
In 1991, Health and Human Secretary Louis Sullivan headed the forming of the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange, a panel of health care leaders to study and develop recommendations for EDI. In 1992 Representative Pete Stark lead the Democrats by proposing that would create health information throughout the United States. That year also saw EDI business leaders form the Association for Electronic Health care transactions.
Two reports in 1992 and 1993 from the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange showed that automating health care transactions would save money and better the health care industry for both the patient and provider. These reports got Congress to pay attention and to write legislation that would become the Health Insurance Portability and Accoutability Act of 1996.
Hipaa carries serious penalties, including financial and criminal consequences for violations. Any type of health care provider including individuals, organizations and third parties, is held to Hipaa standards. When a violation is identified, enforcement is necessary and the punishment is determined by law makers reviewing the case.
Punishment for a Hipaa violation varies depending on the type of violation, whether...