HIPAA: The Privacy Rule
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 is a broad federal law, only part of which is intended to protect the privacy of health care information. HIPAA required Congress to enact a health information privacy law by August 1999 and stated that if it did not act by then (as it did not), then the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) must develop privacy regulations. DHHS proposed regulations in November 1999, and following a public comment period in which it received more than 52,000 comments, published a final rule at the end of December 2000.
In January 2001, the Bush Administration put the Privacy Rule on hold and, in February, reopened it for public comment. President Bush then lifted the hold, indicating that changes would follow in response to the comments, but confirming the rule's effective date of April 14, 2001. The rule requires compliance by April 14, 2003 (two years after the effective date)
HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. It is design to only allow yourself and doctor to see your person medical files. It makes your medical issues to not be discussed with anyone but you.
Why Was the Rule Issued? A. The intent of the rule is to protect the privacy of individuals' health care information. It creates a federal "floor" of protection so that every person in this country has at least the same basic rights and protections, though some may have additional rights depending on state law. *
Whom Does the Rule Cover? A. Covered Entities 1. The Privacy Rule directly regulates three types of "covered entities": health care providers (including individuals and organizations), health plans (including insurers and other payors), and health care clearinghouses (entities, such as billing services, that process health