October 7, 2012
How HIPAA Violations Affect the Medical Billing Process
In this paper we will discuss how HIPAA violations affect the medical billing process and why HIV and AIDS information is more sensitive than other types of health conditions. We will also examine the social, legal, and ethical ramifications of improper information disclosure. In 1996 on August 21, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by the Federal Government and signed into law by President Bill Clinton (HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 2011). According to “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” (2012), “HIPAA does the following; provides the ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for millions of American workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs, reduces health care fraud and abuse, mandates industry-wide standards for health care information on electric billing and other processes, and requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information” (What is HIPAA?). The main reason HIPAA was enacted was to protect patient’s personal health information regardless of its severity. Their personal health information is just that, theirs! For that reason, among many other, it is very important to know that a patient’s personal health information is not to be shared with any unauthorized person for any reason. Kibbe (2001) states “every practice regardless of its size will have to comply with the HIPAA security, privacy, and transactions regulations” (Key Points). HIPAA has rules and regulations for a reason, and they must be followed. It is important to note that if they are not, there are serious repercussions in which we will discuss a little later on in the paper. HIPAA has a lot to do with the medical billing process because it is designed to make sure that...