Guidance on HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed in 1996. This law gives patients more control over their medical information and extends medical coverage to include more people, including part-time workers. The Privacy Rule is one of the most important aspects of HIPAA because it dictates how doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies can use or disclose private healthcare information. The Rule says that a patient’s private health information must be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible; this means that the patient has control over who can access their medical records. Doctors and hospitals may only share a patient’s health information with other doctors or hospitals if there is a need for them to know this information in order to provide treatment or payment for services received; but they cannot share it with organizations that are not necessary for these purposes without first getting permission from the patient. If a doctor needs to release any kind of private health information about you, they must first tell you what type of info will be disclosed before giving your consent. Patients also have rights under HIPAA when they receive notice that their personal health data is being shared by an organization with which they have a direct relationship – like physicians’ offices and insurers – as well as indirect

Health Information

Health Information Health information is information about a person’s health status or history. This includes personal, familial and communicable diseases, injuries or conditions. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal statute enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996 that provides certain protections for someone’s privacy in regards to their health information being released to others without written permission from the individual.

HIPAA provides the following rights:

• The right to access one’s own medical records and find out what it says;

• The right to be informed of any unauthorized release of personally identifiable health information about oneself;

• The right to request restrictions on use or disclosure of personally identifiable health information; and

• The right to obtain copies of, amend, or delete records related with one’s care delivered by a hospital, clinic, physician group practice office or other healthcare provider who participates in a particular healthcare system if they have made an agreement with that system permitting such access

Privacy Guidelines 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued Guidelines on September 27, 2013 that describe how healthcare providers, health plans, and clearinghouses can comply with the privacy requirements of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The Guidelines include a model notice for use by covered entities to notify individuals about their privacy rights under the Privacy Rule; guidance on how to determine what constitutes reasonable efforts to obtain an individual’s agreement or authorization as required by the Privacy Rule; an update on what constitutes de-identified data under the rule’s standards for de-identification (the “De-identification Guidance”); suggestions for addressing common situations that involve patient care requests and disclosures without consent; guidance about using psychotherapy notes as part of a comprehensive record; guidance about when insurers may refuse to pay claims as a result of not obtaining authorization or agreement from individuals seeking benefits coverage; guidance on when a group health plan may disclose protected health information without individual authorization and other common questions related to compliance with HIPAA. The Department of Health and Human Services has issued updated guidelines that aim at helping providers comply with HIPAA’s privacy requirements. 

Hipaa Compliance Privacy Guidelines 

HIPAA compliance is to follow a set of standards that protects the privacy and security of patients’ protected health information (PHI). HIPAA compliance is required for all medical providers, healthcare facilities and their business associates. HIPAA compliance includes data protection controls such as security management, access authorization, change management, disaster recovery and contingency plans.

Data Security 

The HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules (45 CFR Parts 160 and 164) set national standards for the protection of electronic health information. The HIPAA Security Rule addresses administrative, physical, and technical safeguards for protecting electronic health information. This guidance provides an overview of the requirements to address security issues in accordance with the security rule. In addition, this document provides a number of recommendations that may be helpful to organizations as they consider how best to protect their own systems from cyber attacks or other malicious activities that are not covered under HIPAA standards but could lead to data breaches or identity theft.