Essay on Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act

Essay on Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act

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The emergency department (ED) can present challenges of its own considering the severity of patients in critical condition that require immediate medical attention. As mandated by EMTALA, no ED can refuse to provide care to an individual seeking treatment for any ailments or injuries. However, if a patient seeking emergency medical services is incapacitated, it has the possibility of complicating matters relating to privacy and confidentiality as outlined by the federal statute HIPPA. Nevertheless, as a patient seeking care from the local ED, they have certain rights and duties associated with their care that the care team has to abide by and respect. Similarly, the treating provider has certain duties and rights in order to properly provide treatment to the patient in distress. Before addressing a specific ED visit scenario, we must first examine the provisions of the two pieces of legislation.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) Act enacted in 1996 is a body of federal legislation that came with a number of provisions. First and foremost, under HIPPA, individuals and their families are protected from the risk of losing their health insurance coverage due to a loss or change in their respective jobs. Additionally, it attempted to arrest the spread of fraud and abuse that was prevalent throughout the healthcare industry while also establishing national standards in handling electronic health information and billing processes. Probably the most notable provision of this statute are the statements related to confidentiality, access, and privacy of an individual’s health information. HIPPA regulations mandate the appropriate handling of protected health information (PHI), which is any information generat...


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...riteria such as the inability to pay. Under these two federal statutes, the patients and providers both have obligations and rights to fulfill on their respective parts. The physician is obligated to provide care to the patient to the best of his clinical judgement and utilize all available resources to him in the ED. He also has the responsibility of maintaining the confidentiality of the patient’s information accessed through the HIE and informing any family members or relevant individuals regarding the care given to the patient. The patient has the right to receive an appropriate medical screening examination and also a right to view their protected health information. Additionally, under HIPPA guidelines, the patient has the right to know for what use his/her information is being disclosed, such as a family member who might be waiting outside the emergency room.

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