What is HIPAA?

I’d heard about HIPAA, I knew it was about patient privacy, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was or what HIPAA stood for. I found this from TechListings:

The American Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a set of rules to be followed by health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

HIPAA took effect on April 14, 2003. In the health care and medical profession, the great challenge that HIPAA has created is the assurance that all patient account handling, billing, and medical records are HIPAA compliant.

Some provisions of the HIPAA involve patient/hospital interaction. For example, patients must be able access their record and correct errors and must be informed of how their personal information will be used. Other provisions involve confidentiality of patient information and documentation of privacy procedures. It is these provisions that have led to regulation-specific software updates, specialist consulting, and in some cases complete overhauls of medical billing and records systems.

So for those of you who’ve heard of HIPAA and weren’t sure what it was, or if you’ve signed a privacy form at your doctor’s office recently, here’s what the HIPAA hype is all about!

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