What Is HIPAA and Why Is It Necessary?

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What Is HIPAA and Why Is It Necessary?


Whether you’re a patient or working in the medical field, it’s essential to understand what HIPAA is and why it’s necessary. Within the healthcare industry, there are daily privacy concerns and the need to protect patients, making sure everyone receives affordable and equal healthcare opportunities. In this article, we’ll discuss how HIPAA takes care of those issues and helps a medical practice meet compliance standards. 

Defining HIPAA

HIPAA, the healthcare insurance portability and accountability act, was first created in 1996 to protect individuals who had lost their health insurance, usually from job loss. Later, HIPAA added another layer of protection by addressing healthcare fraud and the need to protect patients’ private information. 

Today, when you go into medical practice before the doctor sees you, you’re asked to sign a statement saying you’ve received information about HIPAA. When you do so, you are protecting yourself and the practice. 

HIPAA Protects a Medical Practice

HIPAA was and is the leading force in transferring medical records from paper to electronic. Storing patient data this way greatly reduces fraud. Medical practices should consider a security management company to protect data even further. Security management services monitor data, systems, and networks so the medical practice doesn’t have to. 

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Because every organization utilizing HIPAA uses the same codes, the transfer of information and the ability to collaborate has significantly increased, protecting medical practices from mistakes. 

HIPAA Protects Patients

By far, although HIPAA protects the healthcare industry, it is designed to cater mainly to patients. HIPAA gives patients the comfort of knowing their private information is protected. 

Some patients may not feel they need their information protected, and certainly in the past, without always meaning to do so, sensitive data was left unprotected and accidentally shared or exposed. With HIPAA in place, all information is always protected, regardless of anyone’s opinion. Should healthcare information be released without permission, a patient is protected under HIPAA.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding what HIPAA is and why it’s necessary gives patients control, rather than allowing the healthcare industry to control the information for them. Choose a physician you trust and a medical practice that takes HIPAA seriously.

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