The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed by Congress in 1996 to set a national standard that regulates the ways in which medical information is accessed and handled.
In case that didn’t clear it up for you.. HIPAA essentially sets rules that your health care providers and health plans have to follow. It’s controls the following:
• Who can look at your health information
• Who can receive your health information
HIPAA rules guarantee that your personal and private health information can’t be broadcast to just anyone. However, the rules also apply to your family members and friends.
This rule also ensures that you have access to your own health care information. You should be able to make sure it’s accurate and you should be able to know who else has looked at it.
What must be kept private?
• Medical records
• Billing records
• Any other documents related to health care
This applies to all forms of communication — spoken, paper and electronic.
Who has to pay abide by these rules?
• Healthcare providers
• Healthcare plans
• Healthcare clearinghouses
Who does this matter to?
• Businesses providing services through a contractual agreement with a healthcare provider or healthcare plan
• Anyone who works for a healthcare provider or healthcare plan
• Patients who has a healthcare plan
• Anyone who patronizes a health care provider
Although compliance is confusing, it’s incredibly important that you figure out what it means and how it applies to you. The penalties are stiff and you can be cited and fined even if you didn’t realize you were non-compliant.
Fines for non-compliance are be quite severe. If you have any questions, fill out the form at the bottom of this post. We’ll give you a call to discuss the details of HIPAA compliance as it relates to you. We’ll help you determine whether or not you need to be complaint. We’ll also help you achieve and maintain compliance should you be in violation of this law.
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