HIPAA Privacy Rule – 5 Special Features

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) lays down substantial stress on protecting your health information through a number of provisions under its Privacy Rule. Covered entities are required to follow a set of rules to manage sensitive data and have to adhere to the relevant laws at all times.
The following 5 features will tell you more about the use and Working With Health Insurance disclosure of your personal information in certain scenarios.
• Public Health: Under the HIPAA Privacy Rules covered entities can disclose your personal data for specific public health purposes. Accordingly, the required information can be supplied to health officials without seeking the consent of patients if certain outbreak, surveillance or investigative Counselling Online Free issued are involved. Authorities might require such data for monitoring the population for certain infections or to protect you from contracting certain diseases or spreading communicable diseases. Besides identifying threat to the public the information may be required in cases of neglect and abuse.
• Research: Researchers in the field of medicine and healthcare require information from several different sources to carry out their work. And while the rules prohibit disclosure of personal information it does realize the importance of such data for legitimate research work. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Privacy Board may approve sharing such information. Such permissions are given only if the risk to privacy is minimal and if the research work cannot be carried out in the absence of such information or without the boards’ approval. The covered entity must however ensure that such approval documents are in order and signed by the relevant authority. On the other hand entities may part with such information if authorized by you in writing.
• Emergencies: Emergency assistance staff might require your personal information to provide prompt treatment during emergency situations. Similarly disaster relief officials might seek such data for treatment and to help displaced people by looking up their records to contact their family or friends. Under specific conditions this information is required for teams handling emergency preparedness, planning and response.
• Health Information Technology: HIPAA encourages the storage and exchange of information through electronic media due to its many advantages. In addition to improving quality of healthcare by boosting administrative efficiency and curtailing errors, it reduces costs and paperwork substantially. It constantly allows the adoption of newer and improved techniques for better management of information. Furthermore it realizes the importance of privacy and security and has set standards that must be followed to protect such sensitive data.
• Genetic Information: The Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA) disallows discrimination in health coverage based on genetic information. Since genetics is considered to be a part of health information it cannot be disclosed or used by health plans for underwriting purposes. Thus such bodies cannot include genetic information while ascertaining eligibility for a health plan, determining pre-existing and exclusion conditions or when calculating premium. These also cover new plans or renewing and replacing older plans.
HIPAA has addressed a number of different circumstances and clearly indicates when your personal information can be disclosed and when it should be closely guarded.