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Why is HIPAA Important?

HIPAA is Important but Why?

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. If you don’t know already, HIPAA is very important to everyone, including you. Here are a few reasons why:

  • HIPAA allows you to deem who may speak on your behalf. If you were to get in an accident and unable to communicate, it is crucial that a trusted individual(s) be able to represent you. Some misled entities will tell you that you may only have one individual representing you but that is not true; you may designate as many people as you want to be your voice.

  • Under HIPAA, everyone has complete access to a copy of their personal medical records. This is a given right and no institution can deny that. The only catch to this law is entities are entirely permitted to charge for this so they may try to charge ridiculous prices.

  • HIPAA was designed to protect patient and their confidentiality. Every healthcare institution is required to have a compliance department so if you feel there is a compliance concern or breach of data, contact this department to resolve your issue.

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.

For more information on HIPAA, check out the Datica Blog. Additional questions? Contact one of our experts today.

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