What is HIPAA?
It is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It was signed into law in August 1996. HIPAA was originally intended to support the portability of health insurance and to improve fraud and abuse protections. HIPAA Administrative Simplification provisions were added to improve administrative efficiencies, reduce paperwork, and ensure confidentiality and privacy of electronic information.
The purpose of the HIPAA Privacy Rule is to prevent inappropriate use and disclosure of individual health information, most commonly referred to as protected health information (PHI). It is not a one-time implementation project. HIPAA entails ongoing responsibilities that must be incorporated into Military Treatment Facilities culture and business processes.
Who Must Comply with HIPAA?
All health plans, health care clearinghouses and health care providers who conduct certain financial and administrative transactions in any medium must comply with HIPAA. TRICARE, the Military Treatment Facilities, clinicians, the managed care support contractors and subcontractors as well as other business associate relationships fall within these categories.
What Information is Protected Under HIPAA?
Individually identifiable health information, including demographics, is protected under HIPAA. The protected health information (PHI) can be in electronic, paper or verbal form. Uses and disclosures are described in the organization's Notice of Privacy Practices.
Why Is HIPAA Important to the Patient?
HIPAA increases the patient's control over his/her health information.
Patients’ Right Under HIPAA
Among the fundamental principles of the HIPAA Privacy Rule are the rights of individuals regarding their personal health information. These rights include
The right to adequate notice of the uses and disclosures of PHI that a covered entity may have made
The right to request (but not necessarily be granted) restrictions on the use and disclosure of PHI
The right to access PHI
The right to amend PHI
The right to an accounting of certain disclosures of PHIA
A more detailed accounting of your rights is delineated in the Notice of Privacy Practices.
Authorization for Disclosure of Medical or Dental Information