The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 is a law that was put into place to protect the rights of the insured by making sure they keep their insurance even when changing or leaving their jobs. It also sets guidelines for how healthcare information should be kept private.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule gives Americans stronger control over their health information. The rule requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue national standards for electronic health care transactions and code sets. The goal is to make it easier for all individuals across the country to access their health information and communicate with their providers. Here are 4 things you need to know about HIPAA:
HIPAA covers your health insurance
The main purpose of the law is to create rules for health insurance coverage so that people don’t have to worry about losing their insurance because they switch jobs or retire. HIPAA also makes it easier for people to get insurance when they are between jobs.
When people leave their jobs, they often have a hard time finding new health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. It might not be easy for them to get accepted into new health care plans with the price being so high due to their pre-existing conditions. HIPAA does away with this problem for adults under the age of 65. There is a clause that allows insurers to refuse new applicants if they can prove that they had been denied health insurance within the last year; otherwise, they cannot deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
The best thing about HIPAA is that it applies to things that were not previously covered. For example, if you are between the ages of 19 and 25, are on your parents’ health insurance plan, or are enrolled in a school-sponsored health care plan, then HIPAA does not apply to you. This means that people of these demographics can be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
There are penalties for HIPAA Violations
Penalties for non-compliance can be stiff under HIPAA. A practice could face fines up to $50,000 each time they are found to violate a provision of the law. It is essential that all practices make sure that they have the right security tools in place and that they train all staff members to avoid HIPAA violations. This law is enforced by the Office of Civil Rights, although It is not always easy for them to know when a violation has occurred but they are actively looking for evidence that it has happened. You can read more about the enforcement at https://www.easyllama.com/blog/who-enforces-hipaa but, note that when this office finds what they consider to be clear evidence of HIPAA non-compliance, an investigation will begin immediately. That’s how it works.
However, one of the most effective ways for practices to avoid HIPAA violations is to use a medical practice management software solution. Such tools automatically track and report all types of activity in the EMR, such as who logs into it, what they do, which browsers are used to log in, how much time is spent on each document or record entry, which modules are accessed during each visit by staff members, etc. These tools also alert you to any possible security incidents, such as a staff member opening a patient’s record without a reason for doing so.
Protect sensitive healthcare information
The federal HIPAA law is a regulation that was put into effect to protect sensitive healthcare information. The first thing that people need to know about is that if a healthcare practice, hospital or clinic does business electronically, they are required by law to have a very specific standard of security in place for electronically protected health information (ePHI) – which is what the government likes to call “protected health information”. This limits the risk of a breach or theft that could harm patients’ privacy or financial security.
The law requires every healthcare practice, hospital, and clinic in America to have an extensive compliance plan in place, detailing how they are going to protect their ePHI. If they are not compliant with the plan, then they are out of compliance with HIPAA.
It’s safe to train your employees in compliance with HIPAA.
It’s safe to train your employee on HIPAA compliance because it is simply a review of already existing policies for the company. This ensures that the majority of employees are not being tasked with learning new information. If you have an in-house training department, then conducting required refresher courses should be part of their job description.
Employees who are required to maintain HIPAA compliance must receive appropriate training. Training for employees is often timed so that any new hires will get the necessary information before they need to work on anything that requires HIPAA compliance. This way, your company can ensure that no one starts working without knowing what their responsibilities are in terms of HIPAA compliance.
HIPAA was put into place by the government to protect sensitive healthcare information, like Social Security numbers, credit card details, addresses, etc.. If you are under 19 or 25 years of age then HIPAA does not apply to you; however, anyone over those ages must at all times be compliant with HIPAA. There are penalties for non-compliance with the law. That is why it is essential to have a plan of action if you are under the law, to make sure there are no violations.