The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is a United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for the health care industry. The act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 21, 1996. Find out more about HIPAA and what it means for you here!
HIPAA is an acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. This act was created to protect the confidentiality and security of patient health information. The act also provides patients with the ability to take their health insurance with them if they change jobs. Employees should be able to pass HIPAA trivia quizzes so that they can be protected from discrimination based on their health status. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for enforcing HIPAA compliance. If a covered entity or business associate violates HIPAA, they can be subject to civil or criminal penalties. HIPAA consists of five main sections, known as titles. These titles are:
- Title I – Health care access, portability, and renewability
- Title II – Preventing health care fraud and abuse; administrative simplification; medical liability reforms
- Title III – Tax-related health provisions
- Title IV – Application and enforcement of group health plans
- Title V – Revenue offsets
Title I HIPAA
The first title, Health Care Access, Portability, and Renewability, is also known as the Kennedy-Kassebaum Act. This title prevents health insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. It also allows people to keep their health insurance if they switch jobs.
Title II HIPAA
The second title, Preventing Health Care Fraud and Abuse – Administrative Simplification – Medical Liability Reforms contains several administrative simplification provisions. These provisions make it easier for covered entities to comply with HIPAA. They also help to prevent health care fraud and abuse. The medical liability reforms in this title create a federal cause of action for victims of medical malpractice.
Title III HIPAA
The third title, Tax-Related Health Provisions, contains several provisions that relate to the tax treatment of health insurance. These provisions are designed to make it easier for people to obtain and maintain health insurance coverage.
Title IV HIPAA
The fourth title, Application, and Enforcement of Group Health Plans contains several provisions that apply to group health plans. These provisions are designed to protect the rights of employees who are covered by group health plans. The provisions in this title also make it easier for employers to offer health insurance coverage to their employees.
Title V HIPAA
The fifth and final title, Revenue Offsets, contains several provisions that offset the cost of the health care reform laws. These offsets include an increase in the Medicare payroll tax and a surtax on high-income earners.
What Is Covered Under HIPAA?
Patient medical records and other personal health information held by covered entities are protected under HIPAA. This includes information that is stored electronically, on paper, or in any other format. Covered entities must take measures to protect this information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Business associates of covered entities are also required to protect patient information.
Your Rights Under HIPAA
You have the right to access your health information. You also have the right to request corrections to your health information. You have the right to receive notice if your health information is used or disclosed in a way that violates your privacy rights. You also have the right to file a complaint if you believe your privacy rights have been violated.
The Penalties for Violating HIPAA
Covered entities and business associates who violate HIPAA can be subject to civil or criminal penalties. Civil penalties can be up to $50,000 per violation, with a maximum of $1.5 million per year for violations of the same provision. Criminal penalties can be up to $250,000 and 10 years in prison for knowingly violating HIPAA.
What Is The HITECH Act?
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) was enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The HITECH Act strengthens the privacy and security protections for patient health information established by HIPAA. It also gives patients more control over their health information. The HITECH Act also provides incentives for covered entities to adopt and use electronic health records(EHRs).
HIPAA compliance is important for covered entities and business associates. Violations of HIPAA can result in civil or criminal penalties. The HITECH Act strengthens the privacy and security protections for patient health information established by HIPAA. You have the right to access your health information and to request corrections to your health information. You also have the right to receive notice if your health information is used or disclosed in a way that violates your privacy rights and to file a complaint if you believe your privacy rights have been violated. Now you know about HIPAA!