Updating hipaa policies and procedures
Questions remain as to what extent HIPAA privacy regulations are a positive addition to the health care profession. Also, many question the extent to which they must heed the warnings of consultants, governmental representatives, and industry partners who are familiar with HIPAA’s impending compliance requirements and deadlines. To date, only two Final Regulations have been promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services under HIPAA’s authority: Standards for Electronic Transactions and Code Sets and Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. Many covered entities have focused their efforts on complying with the Electronic Transactions Standards which went into effect on October 16, 2002. 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. Health care partners, erroneously assuming that HIPAA requirements will have little or no tangible impact..failing to adequately assess their patients' needs and are missing a significant opportunity to improve their care.
It will be noted that HIPAA is a work in progress and not a specific act. They recognized that while this would be a laudable effort to maintain health care privacy for the average citizen, such laws would require covered entities to convert years, sometimes decades, of paperwork to computer files, and impose additional work in other areas on health care organizations. §164.526), and to learn where the records have been disclosed (45 C. To that end, any patient who believes his or her health care information has been illicitly exchanged may file a complaint with either the provider or USDHHS Office for Civil Rights.
The "Privacy Rule" impacts all health care providers and health care plans that transmit health care information in electronic form. The purpose of this article is to assist nurses and other health care professionals to better understand their responsibilities regarding HIPAA regulations.