The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required health care providers and covered entities of national standards to protect confidential patient health information from being released without the consent or approval of the patient.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the HIPAA Privacy Rule to enact HIPAA’s specifications.
What is the Purpose of HIPAA?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) were first passed in 1996. When it was first introduced, the law sought to ensure that workers’ health care benefits would continue even though they changed jobs. The law also mandated healthcare organizations to implement controls to protect patient data from deterring healthcare fraud.
HIPAA has developed a set of new guidelines to improve productivity in the healthcare sector, requiring healthcare organizations to follow the standards to minimize paperwork.
HIPAA sets rigorous criteria for the protection of sensitive health records (PHI). Hackers and others with criminal intent could gain PHI access to use it for nefarious purposes, including identity theft. Fraud may have long-term and crippling consequences for those who fall prey to it. One of HIPAA’s key objectives is to push companies to increase the level of security they apply to sensitive data.
If a regulatory body finds an organization in breach of HIPAA laws, they have the authority to enforce severe financial penalties. These penalties serve as a powerful deterrent to entities that would otherwise violate HIPAA’s rules.
HIPAA is made up of a series of rules, each of which serves a specific purpose. Each Hipaa Rule’s purpose is outlined below.
The Privacy Rule of 2000
The HIPAA Privacy Rule was established to restrict the types of protected health information that could be used and disclosed. The Rule specifies when, with whom, and under what circumstances health information can be exchanged.
The Security Rule of 2003
The HIPAA Security Rule allows companies to protect electronic health data through administrative, technical, and physical protection. All e-PHI produced, obtained, retained, or transmitted by covered entities must be kept confidential, safe, and secure.