What is HIPAA?

August 13, 2018

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This law was signed into place in 1996 under President Clinton. This legislation provides protection for data privacy pertaining to your medical records.

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The Parts of HIPAA

HIPAA contains five different parts, each of which that protect a different area of your privacy:

  • HIPAA Title I – This protects those that lost their job and who would no longer be eligible for group health insurance. This protection ensures that the newly unemployed have access to health plans. It also helps to protect those that have pre-existing conditions. It ensures that they will have access to adequate health insurance.
  • HIPAA Title II – This protects any electronic healthcare transactions you conduct at your medical provider’s office. HIPAA requires that the process be standardized throughout the nation. They also require medical practices to use safe practices when handling patients’ private data.
  • HIPAA Title III – This part covers tax-related issues pertaining to healthcare as well as the general guidelines that medical practices must follow.
  • HIPAA Title IV –This part further explains the provisions available to those with pre-existing conditions and those that require continued coverage due to a loss of their job.
  • HIPAA Title V – This part covers company-owned life insurance as well as income-tax issues for those that lost their U.S citizenship.

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HIPAA’s Common Rule

Typically, when you hear talk about HIPAA, it has to do with Title II and the privacy concerns around a person’s medical records. In particular, the HIPAA rule says:

  • The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects your health information. Each provider must follow strict standards in order to control the privacy of your medical records.
  • The HIPAA Security Rule determines which security standards medical practices must use in order to ensure the protection of any electronic documentation shared.
  • The HIPAA Enforcement Rule lets medical practices know how they should follow the rules. It also lets them know what consequences they face if they don’t follow them.

HIPAA applies to any business that handles your medical information. This includes medical providers, insurance companies, and health care clearinghouses. This helps to ensure that your medical information is only shared with the people that you allow it to be shared with by providing written consent.

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