Hipaa: Privacy And Security Rules The Computer, The Nurse And You

1545 words - 6 pages

HIPAA: Privacy and Security Rules
The Computer, the Nurse and You
Introduction
How would you like to keep track of your personal health information record in your computer at home? The electronic data exchange was one of the goals of the government to improve the delivery and competence of the U.S. healthcare system. To achieve this plan, the U.S. Congress passed a regulation that will direct its implementation. The Department of Health and Human Services is the branch of the government that was assigned to oversee the HIPAA rules. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 is a national public law in the United States that was created to improve health insurability, prevent insurance abuse and to protect the privacy and security of a person’s health information.
Thesis Statement:
The knowledge about the HIPAA Privacy and Security rules; its coverage and benefits; its development and updates will help an individual to understand the law to effectively manage and protect his or her own personal health record. The advent of computer technology and the HIPAA terms that were associated with information system will be discussed. Some of the experiences with HIPAA will shared to give a better picture and understanding of the law.
HIPAA: Privacy and Security Rules
What is HIPAA? The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was passed by the U.S. Congress to improve portability and continuity of health insurance coverage; to combat waste, fraud and abuse in health insurance; to reduce costs and the administrative burdens by improving efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system by standardizing the interchange of electronic data; and to ensure the privacy of Americans’ personal health records by protecting the security and confidentiality of health care information (Baker, 2002) In its first few years, HIPAA created a nationwide confusion due to its unclear instructions and coverage. The U.S. government has assigned the Department of Health and Human Services to oversee this public act.

There were several steps that were taken to improve and amend the law. The HIPAA timeline can be found in Appendix A to give details as to when the HIPAA law was created, developed and amended. (North Carolina DHHS, 2008) It also includes the future timelines as set target dates for compliance. (Wisconsin DHHS, 2010) The HIPAA terminologies that were used are important in understanding the law. Most of them can be found in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website as a reference guide for everyone. Examples include covered entities, patient identifiers, business associates and other useful terms. More information about the law can be obtained by visiting the DHHS website and typing “HIPAA” as the keyword on the search column. (DHHS, 2002)
One of the issues surrounding the HIPAA law was written by Dr. Richard Sobel (2007) he stated that HIPAA is often described...

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