What is HIPAA in relation to health care?

HIPAA guidelines

Understand HIPAA Compliance?

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act came into existence in 1996 and by signed by President Bill Clinton. This act is important for the health care industry as it provides security provisions and data privacy, in order to keep an individual’s health data safe. The other purpose of this act is to improve the efficiency of the health care system and to help consumers maintain their insurance coverage. In the beginning, the sole purpose of this act was to ensure that employees would continue to receive health insurance coverage when they were between jobs. The act contains five titles or sections, in total:

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HIPAA Title I

The purpose of this title is to safeguard coverage of health insurance for those who have changed or lost their jobs.

HIPAA Title II

The purpose of title II is to direct the United States Department of Human Services and Health in order to standardize the processing of electronic healthcare transactions nation-wide. According to this covered entities and business, associates must protect and safeguard electronic access to the patients’ health data. Covered entities must also compliance with the privacy regulations which were set by the HHS.

HIPAA Title III

This title is tax-related, as well as general medical care guidelines.

HIPAA Title IV

This reform further defines health insurance reform.

HIPAA Title V

It includes requirements on company-owned life insurance and the cure of individuals who lose their U.S. citizenship for income tax purposes.

HIPAA relation to health care

In the health care field, it is very important for covered entities and business associates to adhere to HIPAA compliance. This act lays out many administrative requirements that health care agencies must follow. If anyone fails to comply with HIPAA guidelines then those organizations can be fined heavily by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). HIPAA violations can prove quite costly for healthcare organizations. Covered entities and business associates can lower their risk of regulatory action through HIPAA compliance training programs. There are certain rules set by HIPAA compliance for health care organization and these rules are Privacy rule, security rule, unique identifiers rule, enforcement rule and transactions and code set rule. Organizations that come under HIPAA compliance are health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and healthcare providers. In today’s world, the paper records are not enough and they are saved and transmitted electronically. With HIPAA compliance health care agencies can provide clear national standards for the protection of electronic health information.

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