Updating hipaa policies and procedures
In conclusion, the need for all covered entities and their personnel to look broadly at HIPAA as initiating a new way of work in health care will be emphasized. What started as an attempt to shield patient rights has metaphorphasized into the Act we know today as HIPAA. Responses to Date by Covered Entities As a risk management tool, and to further assure patient privacy, a number of hospitals and other health care providers have already issued new authorization forms that contain the required HIPAA elements. 82660 that copies of original signatures, as well as certain electronic signatures, are also permissible(Federal Register, 2000b). Although HIPAA has provided privacy for health information, anecdotal tales abound of the inconsistent, and sometimes bizarre, manner in which health care professionals display their understanding of the HIPAA privacy regulations. Similarly, the Proposed Security Regulation requires covered entities to maintain agreements—Chain of Trust Agreements—to ensure the security of protected information exchanged electronically. These agreements are intended to ensure that information remains secure at every point of an electronic transmission.
While it may be much more convenient to "keep our heads in the sand" until HIPAA regulations have been published in their final form, many health care experts contend that any covered entities who have not at least started down the path toward compliance efforts are at a significant disadvantage.
It will be noted that HIPAA is a work in progress and not a specific act.
Next, future initiatives having HIPAA implications will be presented.
Congress enacted Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996 to limit the ability of an employer to deny health insurance coverage to employees with preexisting medical conditions. This law has increased patient privacy, but in doing so has added to the financial burden, including personnel costs in health care.
Department of Health and Human Services to develop privacy rules, including, but not limited to, the use of electronic medical records.
Indeed many health care entities today have only a "skeleton crew" or "window dressing policies" in the hopes that these thin attempts will suffice.