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What are HIPAA violations?
HIPAA violations: what are they?
HIPAA, formally known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act, was signed into legislation back in the 90's. These regulations were enacted as a multi-tiered approach that set out to improve the health insurance system. HIPAA has specifications that ensure the confidentiality and privacy of protected health information. There are many different cases and scenarios that could result in a HIPAA violation. Just a few examples:
Shredding is necessary prior to discarding of a patient’s records so improper disposal would result in a HIPAA violation accompanied by substantial fines.
Only the specified person stated on an authorization form may receive a patient’s information so releasing information to an unappointed party; this is one of the most common violations.
All forms that a patient signs must have a “right to revoke” clause or the documentation becomes invalid. Consequently, the release of any information under this record would be in violation of HIPAA.
Why does HIPAA matter? Well, all healthcare entities and organizations that use, store, maintain or transmit patient health information are expected to be in complete compliance with the regulations of the HIPAA law. When completely adhered to, HIPAA regulations not only ensure privacy, reduce fraudulent activity and improve data systems but are estimated to save providers billions of dollars annually. By knowing of and preventing security risks that could result in major compliance costs, organizations are able to focus on growing their profits instead of fearing these potential audit fines.
HIPAA legislation is ever-evolving and although it may seem complicated and tedious, it is imperative that everyone is in compliance. HIPAA has many parts to it, including many rules like the HIPAA Privacy Rule and HIPAA Security Rule. Just as one must be aware of every minute part of these HIPAA directives, one must be prepared for change. With Healthcare Reform and other disruptive movements, the industry is in need of flexibility. Keep an open mind when tackling healthcare because nothing is set in stone, nor will it ever be.
Despite the complexity of our healthcare system, everyone can make an impact. By being an educated healthcare consumer, the industry is one step closer to moving from a volume-based care model to one that is purely value-based. It is time to understand healthcare, analyze behaviors and determine solutions. Why now? Because there's no better time than now.
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