Posted on August 6th, 2013 No comments
What is HIPAA?
Signed into federal law in 1996, HIPAA was created to combat fraud and abuse in the health insurance industry. The Act stipulates that all United States health care organizations must “maintain reasonable and appropriate, technical, and physical safeguards to prevent intentional or unintentional use or disclosure of protected health information.”
HIPAA protection attaches to all information relating “to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual, or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of healthcare.” Materials that would contain such protected information include patient histories, logs, notes, forms, billing and insurance information, and any other records containing personal information in the possession of healthcare providers.
Who is affected by HIPAA?
Regardless of size, all healthcare providers in the United States must have documented policies defining reasonable measures that are being taken to protect personal health information and ensure the organization is protecting against unauthorized access to personal information.
This includes all organizations or individuals who retain and/or collect health-related information, such as: hospitals, medical centers, insurance companies, billing centers, collection agencies, doctors, dentists, chiropractors, psychiatrists, psychologists and any other institutions or individuals responsible for personal health-related information.