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What is HIPAA?

What is HIPAA?

HIPAA is short for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and is a federal law that establishes national standards criteria for the protection of sensitive and personal health information from being shared or exchanged without the specific permission, knowledge or consent of the patient. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the HIPAA Privacy Rule to implement the requirements of HIPAA and the HIPAA Security Rule protects a subset of information covered by the Privacy Rule.

What is the HIPAA Privacy Rule?

The standards for the Privacy Rule address the disclosure and use of the health information of individuals (referenced as “protected health information”) by entities that are subject to the Privacy Rule (referenced as “covered entities.”) The Privacy Rule has established standards for individual patients to understand and control how their personal health information is used. The goal of the HIPAA Privacy Rule is to not only protect personal health information, but to also establish strict guidelines for those that have and share private patient health information, while ensuring that the proper flow of the information is accomplished so that health providers can promote high quality health care. The purpose of the Privacy Rule is to create a balance that allows the priority of health information uses while also protecting the privacy of the patients that are looking for health care.

Electronic transmission of all personal patient data is required to comply with specific encryption guidelines.

Who Are “Covered Entities”?

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