The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, otherwise known as HIPAA, was endorsed by the U.S. Congress in 1996. The HIPAA Privacy Rule, also called the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, provided the first nationally-recognizable regulations for the use/disclosure of an individual's health information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically. (OCR 2003)
When discussing the question, does HIPAA affect the patients access to his or her medical records. HIPAA was put in place to help set standards on protecting a patients personal health information (PHI), therefore HIPAA does affect a patient’s access to medical records. HIPAA’s Privacy Rule specifically states that: “except in certain circumstances, individuals have the right to review and obtain a copy of their personal health information in a covered entity’s designated record set.” (HHS, 2003, pg. 12) Prior to enacting this privacy rule, medical offices might simply provide information or make copies of patient records without any written documentation. Patients along with family members might be able to easily access their information.
According HIPAA's Privacy Rule ensures that patient's personal health information is confidential and can't be used or disclosed unless their is proper authorization. However, there are certain circumstances that allows your personal health information to be used or disclosed that is unrelated to health care. These circumstances are: 1. Required by law; 2...
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...has joined the workforce of the covered entity than that employee should be trained in the policy and procedures in a reasonable amount of time. Training on privacy policies, procedures for following such policies and the order in which records are to be kept and disposed of should be one of the major topics of training of office personnel. "HIPAA training should occur every six months to one year, depending upon the changes in law, regulations or guidelines." (Ehow.com)
OCR Privacy Rule Summary 2003 pg.11
pg.14; pg.18 for #4
45 C.F.R. §160.103.
45 C.F.R. § 164.530(b).
45 C.F.R. § 164.530(e)
Pub. L. 104-191; 42 U.S.C. §1320d-6.