The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in 1996 to protect the privacy of patient health information. Under HIPAA, covered entities – which include healthcare providers, health plans, and clearinghouses – must take steps to safeguard the confidentiality of patient health information. In addition, covered entities must provide patients with access to their own health information upon request. Finally, covered entities must also contact patients if their health information has been breached. By following these rules, HIPAA helps to ensure that patient health information is protected from unauthorized access.
HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, was enacted in 1996 with the goal of protecting patients’ privacy and ensuring the security of their medical information. HIPAA imposes a number of requirements on healthcare providers and other entities that handle protected health information (PHI). These requirements help to ensure that PHI is only used for legitimate purposes and that it is properly safeguarded against unauthorized access or disclosure.
There are three main purposes of HIPAA: to protect the privacy of patients’ PHI, to ensure the security of PHI, and to ensure that PHI is used only for legitimate purposes. The Privacy Rule establishes strict limits on who can access PHI and under what circumstances. The Security Rule establishes safeguards to protect electronic PHI from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. And the Transactions and Code Sets Rule establishes standards for the electronic exchange of PHI. Together, these rules help to protect patients’ privacy while ensuring that their medical information can be properly accessed and used when needed.