The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

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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 or 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 clearinghouse, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically. (OCR 2003) 1 When discussing the question, does HIPAA affect the patients access to his or her medical records. HIPAA privacy rule is to protect personal health information held by the entities covered and gives patients an array of rights with respect to information, therefore HIPAA does affect a patient’s access to their 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 protected health information in a covered entity’s designated record set.” (HHS, 2003, pg. 12) There should be information given if a request is denied on this process and the patient has the right to appeal or complaint if of some reason the information may be released may cause harm to the patients."The Rule provides processes for persons to file complaints with HHS, describes the responsibilities of covered entities to provide records and compliance reports and to cooperate with, and permit access to information for, investigations and compliance reviews" ... middle of paper ... ... six months to one year, depending upon the changes in law, regulations or guidelines." ( HIPAA has made a significant difference in the way PHI is kept and to whom and how it is be released or used. A patient now has more access and input to his/her health information and records than in the past. As technology expands so will the different ways of keeping records and the privacy measures that need to be taken to help protect patients health information. Works Cited OCR Privacy Rule Summary 2003 pg.11 pg.14; pg.18 for #4 45 C.F.R. §160.103. 67 45 C.F.R. § 164.530(b). 68 45 C.F.R. § 164.530(e) Pub. L. 104-191; 42 U.S.C. §1320d-6.
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