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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