HIPAA’s Impact on Patients Rights
Now, more than ever is the time to care about the privacy of our medical information. Intimate details that are shared between Doctors and patients are either stored in file cabinets or data files. The risk of a patient privacy rights being mishandled are high. This is when HIPAA, which stands for “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” comes in to effect. HIPAA was passed by Congress in 1996 and was used to set a national standard for electronic transfers of health data. At the same time, Congress saw the concerns people had about privacy and security of personal health data. It’s a scary thought to think that our private information can be looked at with a click of a button and rules needed to be enforced. The task of writing these rules on privacy was given to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. After many modifications, DHHS issued the HIPAA Privacy Rule. This law deals with privacy, information standards, data integrity, confidentiality, and data security. Even though this law was passed it took five years before the privacy rule became effective on April 14, 2001. The security and privacy standards have had a major impact on the collection and distribution of information and will continue in the years to come. One of the purposes is to protect individuals from losing their health insurance when leaving and/ or changing jobs and by providing portability. This will also increase the government’s authority over fraud and abuse while the data is transferred from one facility to another. In addition, patients benefited from the ongoing health care management’s promise to provide high quality of care. This is important because there are many risks of security breaches. Hospital staff is being tempted to sell private information and HIPAA helps set standards and the facilities enforce the consequences of breaking the rules. Another advantage for patients is the privilege of accessing their own...
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