HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 21, 1996. Most healthcare insurance companies and providers are to adhere to the HIPAA regulation guidelines by October 2002 and October 2003 for smaller health plans. The HIPAA law is a multi-step approach that is geared to improve the health insurance system. One approach of the HIPAA regulations is to protect privacy. This is in Title IV which defines rules for protection of patient information. All healthcare providers, health organizations, and government health plans that use, store, maintain, or transmit patient health care information are required to comply with the privacy regulations of the HIPAA law. Excluded are certain small, self-administered health organizations.
How Does HIPPA Law Affect Me?
The complete HIPAA law is concentrated in simplifying the health care system and ensuring security for patients. Title IV is a safeguard ensuring the protection of privacy for your medical information. Along with federally ensuring your privacy, the HIPAA law is intended to lead to reduced fraudulent activity and improved data systems. When fully adhered to by all that are required to comply, HIPAA regulation is estimated to save providers nine billion dollars annually.
A major goal of the Privacy Rule is to assure that individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public's health and well being. The Rule strikes a balance that permits important uses of information, while protecting the privacy of people who seek care and healing. Given that the health care marketplace is diverse, the Rule is designed to be flexible and comprehensive to cover the variety of uses and disclosures that need to be addressed.