5 Important Things You Should Know About HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed in 1996 by the U.S Congress. This act was enacted to enable health care workers to continue their health insurance coverage in the event of losing or changing jobs. Today HIPAA is well known for its privacy and security rules that protect your health information. As most of the hospitals are moving ahead with electronic records, protecting your health information is a matter of utmost importance today.
The HIPAA rules and regulations may seem to be burdensome to the health care industry and puzzling to you, however, they are designed to lay down certain guidelines to ensure that your health information stays confidential. Therefore, as all most health organizations are bound under HIPAA privacy laws, it is your responsibility to understand your rights and know what HIPAA is.
Here are 5 important things you must know.
• Impact of HIPAA on your medical care: HIPAA was implemented some years ago basically to protect your private information that may be shared with your health care provider. It has no impact on the medical care you receive in any way. HIPAA gives you access to the best possible medical care.
• Your rights as a patient: HIPAA gives a fair amount of control to you over your own health records. As a patient you have the right to decide who can access your health records. HIPAA stipulates that your health care organization notify you as to how your sensitive information will be used and shared. You have the right to copy your records, to modify or correct information and the right to inspect your health records whenever you wish.
• Who is bound under HIPAA regulations: It is mainly the health care organizations and other health care providers who must adhere to the HIPAA rules and regulations. They are Healthy Foods Recipes known as ‘covered entities’. Medicare and Medicaid, HMO’s, health insurance agencies, clinics, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and chiropractors all come under covered entities.
• Exceptions to HIPAA: There are several organizations and individuals who may possess your private information and may not be forced to comply with the HIPAA laws. For e.g. schools, employers, life insurance agencies, municipal and government offices, law enforcement agencies, etc. do not follow HIPAA regulations. There may be cases where your employer may adhere to these rules but it is not definite.
• Information protected under HIPAA: Your health information that is personal and you don’t want shared with the general public is protected by the HIPAA privacy rules. This includes Nutritious Fruits even your name, birth date, phone number, social security number, geographic identifiers like your state, zip code, etc. and your date of admission and discharge from the hospital.
All employees of covered entities must be trained about the HIPAA guidelines. This will enable them to adhere to them in a better way. This way the hospital can prevent misuse of your health information and penalties. It is necessary for you also as a patient to know about the HIPAA rules so can be aware of what is happening with your medical records.

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