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emPower eLearning: An Introduction to HIPAA

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Introduction to HIPAA

Today, I would like to tell you something about HIPAA, tough a lot of my Health care professionals folks would be aware about it but its a introduction to all our new Health care beginners…

HIPAA: Health Information Privacy and Security

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and its regulations was enacted by congress on August 21, 1996 to protect the privacy and security of patient‘s personal health information. The regulation obligates healthcare providers to establish national standards for electronic healthcare transactions and national identifiers for providers, health plans, and employers. The purpose of this security rule is to improve the portability of continuity of health insurance in the group and individual markets, combat fraud, waste and abuse in health insurance and health care delivery. Privacy and security procedures in the administrative simplification section designed to streamline the administration of health insurance by recognizing the efficiencies and cost savings technology. Healthcare entity if fails to comply with these regulations may have to pay million of dollars. Anyone dealing with sensitive data must follow most strict security policy available.

HIPAA consists of:

  • Healthcare access, portability and renewability
  • Preventing health-care fraud and abuse
  • Tax related health plan provisions
  • Application and enforcement of group health planned requirements
  • Revenue offsets

Who is covered by HIPAA? The Privacy rule applies only to covered entities.

Covered entities include:

  • Health care clearing houses, public or private entity that facilitates the processing of nonstandard, health information data elements into standard data elements.
  • Health care providers-a provider of medical or other health services and any other person furnishing healthcare services or supplies.
  • Health plans-an individual or group plan that provides or pays the cost of medical care, with the exception of liability and worker‘s compensation plans.

HIPAA has achieved great success in securing and protecting sensitive healthcare information. HIPAA has made considerable contributions resulted into increase in the utilization of electronic medical record systems, to implement secure, industry-wide messaging standards. The future of HIPAA for Healthcare will provide single set of information for all payers, standard coding practices, no human interference required for remittance, posting and billing. Privacy policy may add obstacles for physicians and other employees to access medical information but provide patients with trust willing to share information.

I hope this introduction would be helpful to all Health care newbies .

Jason Gaya

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