The importance of HIPAA paper

Abstract

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability. The act is one of the most significant federal legislation that has altered the manner each healthcare organizations handle their business—the act safeguards against any form of unauthorized disclosures and utilization of a patient’s health data.  Since the inception of HIPAA, healthcare organizations have witnessed increased changes and increased benefits from the application of the principles of the act. However, some critiques have criticized the law implying that it only applies to a limited set of covered entities. The presentation provides a brief background on HIPAA. In this case, it gives the historical context and rationale of the act. The second part of the presentation contains the importance of HIPAA to all stakeholders involved in healthcare provision. The third section of the presentation includes the conclusion summarizing the entire presentation. The last part contains the resources utilized to assemble the data presented.

Keywords: HIPAA, Privacy, Confidentiality, and security

Numerous studies indicate each person values his or her privacy. For this reason, each patient gives his or her information to doctors during hospital visits or admission, knowing that the data remains private and confidential. The doctors or any other person with access to such information should use the data for the right reasons hence protect the client’s privacy and confidentiality. In case a third party accesses the information and uses it for a different reason that violates the privacy and confidentiality of the patient (Moore & Frye, 2019). Nevertheless, the same physicians or other people in the healthcare organization breach this confidentiality in some cases. In this perspective, some individuals steal or access patients’ data and utilize it for the wrong reasons. The HIPAA act introduced in 1996 has helped in mitigating the issues of patients’ information security and privacy. The presentation presents the importance of the HIPAA Act.

HIPAA became law in 1996 to ensure the protection of the patient’s interests. Previously, physicians and other people with malicious intentions used to violate privacy and confidentiality between the physicians and the patient by accessing and sharing patient information. Such violations went unaccounted for hence the formation and implementation of the HIPAA Act meant to regulate such violations (Moore & Frye, 2020).  The HIPAA act has five fundamental rules that include identifiers rule, enforcement rule, transaction rule, privacy, and security rule. The privacy rule protects all medical records and the patient health information of all patients in a healthcare organization. The law has limits and conditions on the disclosure and utilization of sensitive data provided by the patients in exceptional circumstances. The security rule protects individual health records by setting methods, standards, and processes that the health organization must follow to ensure the protection of the information on accessibility, storage, and transmission time. The transaction rule involves the transaction codes used in the HIPAA transaction, as they remain vital because they promote security, safety, and accuracy of the health history of a given individual. Identifier rule establishes the stakeholders responsible, and that remain compliant to the act. Enforcement rule presents the fines and penalties imposed on any breach of patient information by the health organizations.

Various scholars have reported that HIPAA regulations have helped both patients and healthcare organizations obtain maximum privacy and minimize violation costs due to the application of HIPAA rules. Every organization or stakeholder in the health provision to the people ought to follow such regulations to enhance and maintain privacy and confidentiality in terms of patient information handling (Vernon & FRSSAf, 2019). HIPAA regulations had now made healthcare organizations remain accountable for any security failures and privacy violation on data provided, unlike before, when they never accounted for such errors and abuses. HIPAA directs health care organization restrict individuals with access to a patient’s health information hence has increased privacy and security of patient information over time. HIPAA enables patients to take control of the kinds of individuals that the healthcare organization could share with the information given. The regulations also assist patients that love taking an active role in their healthcare to obtain and check all of their medical records.

HIPAA enables the patients to decide who represents them on their behalf in case if one remains unable to communicate. HIPAA regulations dictate that every patient has a right to request for his or her medical records. Consequently, the patient has the right to amend any detail deemed wrong in the records (Moore & Frye, 2020). HIPAA has resulted in each health organization having a compliance department to ensure patient protection and confidentiality. Consequently, compliance with HIPAA regulations promotes patient transparency because if a patient comprehends that their data remains secure, they remain more likely to give complete information details. Health organization acknowledges that non-compliance remains costly, resulting in improved privacy and security for patients’ information over time.

In conclusion, since the enactment of HIPAA regulations in 1996, healthcare organizations have promoted increased levels of patient information privacy, confidentiality, and security. Besides, each health organization should protect the patient’s data from any authorized access or use. Healthcare organizations know that they remain accountable for any breach of privacy and confidentiality of patient information.

References

Moore, W., & Frye, S. (2019). Review of HIPAA, part 1: history, protected health information, and privacy and security rules. Journal of nuclear medicine technology47(4), 269-272.

Moore, W., & Frye, S. (2020). Review of HIPAA, part 2: limitations, rights, violations, and role for the imaging technologist. Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology48(1), 17-23.

Vernon, M. N. M. D., & FRSSAf, D. F. A. P. A. (2019). Privacy of communications: faxes are not usually HIPAA compliant. An editorial perspective. J Psychol Clin Psychiatry10(6), 249-254.

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