The Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act

1171 Words5 Pages
In August of 1996, Congress passed The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA accomplished numerous goals to protect the citizens of our country. A few of their goals were:  The ability to transfer your health insurance after loosing or changing your job.  Requiring protection and confidential handling (and destruction) of Protected Health Information (PHI).  Requires providers to adhere to industry-wide standards regarding electric billing and other processes.  Reduces health care fraud and abuse While HIPAA in its entirety is very important to the healthcare industry, the privacy and impact it had upon the citizens is the most important part. There are numerous interesting facts about the aspects of confidentiality as a preventive measure when dealing with fraud in the healthcare industry. The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA) estimates the financial loss each year due to health care fraud to be in the tens of billions of dollars. This fact is not only important for us, as employees, to know working in the healthcare industry, but as patients ourselves. Knowing how the Protected Health Information (PHI) is being handled, while also knowing how to handle others, is crucial in keeping patients, ourselves and our doctor’s offices safe. As a potential medical assistant I am learning the standards I must uphold in all future medical settings. The medical assistant’s role and responsibilities, aside from helping the provider, revolve around maintaining patient privacy by all means necessary. Pressing F12, locking down the computer, on the keyboard when leaving a patient alone in an exam room, prevents him or her from exploring other records while the doctor or medical assistant is ... ... middle of paper ... ...on how our medical information is being kept and shared, which ultimately helps protect the patients and their families. Confidentiality is and continues to be a topic of interest for everyone as it plays a major role in how our care is conducted. While the law has definitely created some bumps in the road for all involved regarding privacy of patient records, the benefits outweigh the bad. Everything from medical and healthcare research, how our records are stored and shared down to the out of pocket costs to acquire insurance and provider care has been affected. Paying extra money out of pocket each month to protect private information is a small price to pay to keep the information and ultimately the identity safe. Working a few extra hours every day to protect others PHI, again, is a small price to pay to help keep confidential information out of the wrong hands.
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