The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA for short, is a crucial staple for any medical practice, hospital or health care provider in the medical industry. While HIPAA is practically a household name, many people may not know the specific details about it and why it’s so important to be compliant in the first place.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HIPAA consists of both Privacy and Security rules, explaining that “HIPAA provides federal protections for personal health information held by covered entities and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule is balanced so that it permits the disclosure of personal health information needed for patient care and other important purposes. The Security Rule specifies a series of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards for covered entities to use to assure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information.”
Consumers’ health information is protected by both rules and covered entities are required to comply with them. These covered entities include health care providers, health plans, health plan clearninghouses and many others.
For the complete list of covered entities, visit the HHS website.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post featuring the next step after learning what HIPAA is, which is how to become HIPAA compliant.