Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Essay

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Essay

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The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, better known as the Privacy Rule, that took effect in April 2003 for large entities and a year later for small ones, was established as the first set of national standards for the protection of health information. This rule was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to meet the requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The Privacy Rule was born out of a need for health information to be appropriately protected yet still allowing the health information to be shared to ensure quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well being. It allows for the protection of the privacy of the patient and yet it also permits vital uses of information.
The Privacy Rule established a category of health information that a covered entity may only use or disclose to others in certain circumstances and under certain conditions. According to the National Institute of Health Publication Number 03-5388, the protected information is known as Protected Health Information (PHI) and includes individually identifiable health information transmitted by electronic media, maintained in electronic media, or transmitted or maintained in any other form or medium. However, it excludes education records covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, records described at 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(4)(B)(iv), and employment records held by a covered entity in its role as employer. Covered entities are organizations that are subject to the Privacy Rule. Three types of covered entities are 1) Health Plans - which are individual or group plans that provide or pay the cost of medi...


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... and HIPAA, Does instant access and availability from mobile technology jeopardize patient privacy? [Electronic version] Nursing Management, June 2007, 38-40
Martin, J. (2008). Who’s looking at your medical records? COPDConnection.com Retrieved November 12, 2011, from http://www.healthcentral.com/copd/c/19257/30481/comments
Robertson, L. (2008). Who’s looking at your medical records? [Electronic version] Saturday Evening Post, 280.3, 54-92, Consumer Health Complete.
Protecting Personal Health Information in Research: Understanding the HIPAA Privacy Rule, NIH Publication Number 03-5388. Retrieved November 12, 2011 from http://privacyruleandresearch.nih.gov/pr_02.asp
Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule, Office of Civil Rights Privacy Rule Summary, (2003). Retrieved November 12, 2011 from http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/privacysummary.pdf

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