By now, many people in the U.S. have heard of HIPAA. But many are unaware of just what this legislation is and what it does. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law set up to safeguard and secure patient health information with hipaa compliant texting. In this post, we will assess the three reasons why HIPAA is important to medical patients.
The term used with HIPAA has protected health information (PHI), which consists of all individually identifiable health information of patients like the patient’s name, phone, birth date, social security number, billing records, credit card information, prescriptions, lab work, and other medical records. This is the data that covered entities and their business associates that are required to protect under the guidelines of the HIPAA requirements. Covered entities are: Providers, health care programs, and health care clearinghouses; these items are subject to significant fines, as well as jail time, for disclosing PHI in violation of HIPAA requirements. HIPAA is a response to the rise of digitization and Internet technology, which have changed the way medical records and data are shared and used.
Under HIPAA legislation, patients have full access to their medical records, although there are some circumstances in which access may be denied unless a healthcare professional believes access could cause harm to the individual or another. The privacy rule of the PHI also provides the exceptions for access to psychotherapy notes, information compiled for legal proceedings, laboratory results to which the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) prohibits access, and information held by certain research laboratories. Despite these specific conditions, patients benefit from easier access to all of their medical records upon request. Covered entities may not deny patients access to their private medical records, even though they may bill for them.
HIPAA also gives patients the confidentiality to use their PHI. This not only protects against online identity theft but also ensures that patients can control who has access to their PHI. Patients may wish to keep their PHI private from family members, other providers, companies, etc. Under HIPAA, covered entities can only share PHI with other covered entities and business associates on a mandatory basis. Confidentiality also means that providers do not disclose PHI to employees or outsiders and operate with more confidentiality in waiting rooms and healthcare facilities. With stricter confidentiality policies governing the sharing of PHI, patients have much more control over who can access their private health information. If necessary, patients can permit certain people, such as family members, other facilities, companies, etc.…