The Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act Essay

The Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act Essay

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Definition of Breaches
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services defines a breach as an impermissible use or disclosure under the Privacy Rule that compromises the security or privacy of the protected health information. In other words, when secure or confidential information has possibly been accessed by an unauthorized person. Breaches of data began gaining public attention in the 1980s to the early 2000s as businesses became more dependent on information technology. As privacy breaches grew in public recognition, people became troubled about their health care. Therefore, in 1996 medical ethical compliance regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) were put in place for all health care plans, clearinghouses, and providers. HIPAA was established by The University of Chicago Medical Center with two primary objectives: (HIPAA, 2006).
1. One was to ensure that individuals would be able to maintain their health insurance between jobs. This is the Health Insurance Portability part of the Act. It is relatively straightforward, and has been successfully implemented.
2. The second part of the Act is the "Accountability" portion. This section is designed to ensure the security and confidentiality of patient information/data. In addition, it mandates uniform standards for electronic data transmission of administrative and financial data relating to patient health information.
This paper is primarily concerned with the second part, the accountability portion. The set of standards put in action by HIPAA were intended to, “define uniform standards for transferring health information among health care providers, health plans, and clearinghouses (covered entities) while securing health informat...


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...data breaches accounted for 21% of total number of incidents by 2015. This number puts the health care industry in first place for the most data breaches of any industry. “The health care industry also led the way in number of records breached by [an] industry with 84.4 million records or 34 percent of the total” (Snell, 2015). These numbers place them in front of the second highest industry, the government. [Appendix B]. Jason Hart, VP and Chief Technology Officer of Gemalto (an organization that offers trusted digital services to individuals), made the following statement, “Security is consuming a larger share of total IT spending, but security effectiveness against the data-breach epidemic is not improving at all”. This henceforth, leads to the fundamental question—are these new information technologies actually causing an increased threat to individual’s privacy?

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