How the HIPPA and HITECH Acts Protect You

HIPPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and it has been in effect since 1996. HIPPA was created for the medical industry and pertains to anyone handling an individual’s medical information. Because the government Absorptive Medications was trying to encourage the medical industry to share information electronically, they enacted this law to insure privacy, to protect this shared information and to ensure enforcement in the event of a breach of information.
A series of laws were enacted after 1996 to provide further protection. The HIPPA Privacy rule was enacted in 2003 to prevent health care entities in possession of Protected Health information (PHI) from unlawfully sharing and abusing information. To take it one step further, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was enacted in 2009 in order to apply more stringent rules and regulations to the covered entities and to ensure that PHI is not shared and individuals’ privacy is respected.
Some of the individual’s rights under the new HITECH Act include:
• An individual may request an electronic copy Psychological Therapy Near Me of their PHI and share it as they deem fit.
• An individual may explicitly approve of the sharing of their PHI.
• PHI may be used for prescription refills; the health provider may use PHI to provide the individual a description of health related products or services under the individual’s medical plan, and written information about the patient’s treatment.
• Through a written request, individuals may specify whether or not they elect to be informed of fund raising opportunities without putting their treatment or payment in jeopardy.
• A decedent’s PHI may be shared with family members or health care providers unless otherwise expressly prohibited by the decedent.
• An individual’s authorization is required for the use of their PHI for psychotherapy notes, marketing or fund raising activities.
Administrative, physical and technical safeguards have now been put in place in order to protect your paper or electronic PHI. The entities covered under HIPPA can be fined up to $1.5 million for violating any of your individual rights. Be aware entities that are not covered by the HIPPA and HITECH Act, such as life insurers, employers, workers compensation carriers, can share your PHI without your consent.
Always remember to be careful when disclosing personal information, and although it may be tedious, read the fine print, or have someone explain it to you. Ask relevant questions, and always be aware of your rights.

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