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“In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which among other things offers protection for personal health information, including electronic medical records.” (Webdictionary; 2012) HIPAA requirements and security rules give patients more control over their health information; set limits on the use and release of their medical records, and establishes a series of privacy standards for health care providers which provide penalties for those who do not follow these standards. HIPAA requirements grants patients several key privacy rights over their medical records which impose obligations on health care providers. The most recent HIPAA requirements for certain health care administrative transactions, such as claims, remittance, eligibility, and claims status requests and responses are identified in American National Standards Institute. Patients have all rights to ask for a written notice about how their health information is used and shared, and to view their medical records. They can request a copy of their file, and also request that any mistakes be corrected. In most cases, health care providers must produce these documents within 30 days of receiving the request, but may charge reasonable fees to cover any expenses associated with making copies, if these are requested by the patient. They may also use HIPAA obedient outside services to produce these copies on their behalf. Health care providers who specialize in mental health are specifically exempted from the requirement to disclose patient information. In most cases, patients have to be notified if their files are leaked or stolen, but there are some exemptions to these rules. Certain parties are exempted from HIPAA requirements, which mean some medical information, may be shared without a patient’s knowledge in limited circumstances. Data encryption technology protects EMR while they are stored and while they are being transferred, ensuring that only the...
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