Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPAA)

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and was passed by the US Congress in 1996. The purpose of the HIPAA law is to improve the health insurance system. Each of the health care providers, health plans, and health organizations must adhere to the regulations of the HIPPAA Act.

The first HIPPAA title protects health insurance for employees and their loved ones. It corrected the Public Health Service Act, the Internal Revenue Code, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The second HIPPAA title is also called AS or Administrative Simplification. It helps individuals to keep their personal information. This is about protecting a patient’s information. The second title requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to summarize rules that aim to increase the effectiveness of the health care system by disseminating health care information and establishing standards of use.

The HIPPAA Privacy Rule (dated 10/16/2003) governs the disclosure and use of certain information held by health insurance companies, medical providers, and so on. It is a regulation for PHI or Protected Health Information. The PHI is an individual’s information about care delivery, care payment, or health status. Thanks to the privacy rule, the individuals have the power to request that a covered entity rectify any wrong PHI. This rule ensures that the covered entities inform people of any use of their PHI.

Any individual can file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services if he/she believes that the privacy rule is not being adhered to. After receiving the complaint, they can take action against insurers, doctors, hospitals or anyone else who breaks the rule.

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