Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was adopted to ensure health insurance coverage after leaving an employer and also to provide standards for facilitating health-care–related electronic transactions. To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health-care system, HIPAA included administrative simplification provisions that required DHHS to adopt national standards for electronic health-care transactions (2). At the same time, Congress recognized that advances in electronic technology could erode the privacy of health information. Consequently, Congress incorporated into HIPAA provisions that mandated adoption of federal privacy protections for certain individually identifiable health information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule (Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information) (3) provides the first national standards for protecting the privacy of health information. The Privacy Rule regulates how certain entities, called covered entities, use and disclose certain individually identifiable health information, called protected health information (PHI). PHI is individually identifiable health information that is transmitted or maintained in any form or medium (e.g., electronic, paper, or oral), but excludes certain educational records and employment records.

Smarsh, Inc. assumes no liability for the accuracy or completeness of this information. Please consult with an attorney for specific information on specific rules and regulations and how they apply to your business.

Helpful Links:
Comprehensive look at the HIPAA Privacy Rule from the HHS website.

Related Industries:
Healthcare/Life Sciences

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