What is HIPAA?
HIPAA is best known as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act was first brought by Congress in the year 1996. The main purpose of this legislative act was to help consumers maintain their insurance coverage and its aim was to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system.
The main focus of this act was on maintaining the security and privacy of healthcare data. HIPPA has set new codes and guidelines in the health care industry of the U.S and it that individual health-care plans are accessible, portable and renewable. It has set a limit and new codes on how data is shared across the U.S. health system in order to prevent fraud.
HIPAA has given individuals and patients more control over their healthcare records and information and has set limits on the use and release of health data. Furthermore, this act has set suitable guideline to health care organizations and their business associates in order to protect the privacy of health information, and it also holds violators accountable with civil and criminal penalties that can be imposed if they violate patients’ privacy rights.
HIPAA enables individuals to know how their information may be used and about certain disclosures of their information that have been made. Patients and individuals must be informed within 60 days if their personal data gets leaked or breaches due to any fraudulent activity.
With HIPAA act any individual or patient can obtain and examine the copy of their own health healthcare data and can request a correction. It gives individuals full control over the uses and disclosures of their health information.
HIPAA Rules and Standards
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations are divided into several major standards or rules: Privacy Rule, Security Rule, Transactions and Code Sets (TCS) Rule, Unique Identifiers Rule, Breach Notification Rule, Omnibus Final Rule, and the HITECH Act.
As discussed above, use of HIPAA is to enhance the efficiency of the health care system in the U.S and at the same time, it focuses on maintaining the privacy, security and confidentiality of the patients or individual’s health care records maintained by health care organization.
Besides this HIPAA has several key components and these are stated below:
- Unique health identifiers for individuals, employers, health plans, and health care providers
- Security and privacy standards are set by HIPPA to safeguard the confidentiality and integrity of individually identifiable health information
Anyone who fails to comply with HIPAA compliance is fined with heavy penalties by OCR and criminal penalties are enforced by the US department of justice.