What is HIPAA?
HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law enacted in 1996 in the United States. The act sets standards for the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI) and applies to healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses. It requires these entities to implement appropriate administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic PHI. HIPAA also establishes requirements for safeguarding PHI in the course of transmitting it electronically, such as through electronic medical records.
Rights under HIPAA
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides several rights to individuals regarding their protected health information (PHI), including:
- Right to access: Individuals have the right to access and obtain a copy of their PHI.
- Right to amendment: Individuals have the right to request that their PHI be amended if they believe it is inaccurate or incomplete.
- Right to an accounting of disclosures: Individuals have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures of their PHI made by their healthcare provider or health plan.
- Right to receive a notice of privacy practices: Individuals have the right to receive a notice explaining how their PHI may be used and disclosed.
- Right to file a complaint: Individuals have the right to file a complaint if they believe their privacy rights have been violated.
- Right to confidentiality: Healthcare providers and health plans are required to maintain the confidentiality of PHI.
What can health information include?
- The information protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) includes:
- Personal health information (PHI) such as medical records, diagnostic test results, treatments, and medical histories.
- Demographic information such as name, address, date of birth, and social security number.
- Information about health plan enrollment and payment history.
- Information about past, present, or future physical or mental health conditions.
- Information about the provision of health care, such as the type and date of treatment.