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Articles > What Is The HIPAA Privacy Rule?

What Is The HIPAA Privacy Rule?

by HIPAA on April 4, 2014

What is the HIPAA Privacy Rule? Patient information needs to be handled in a specific manner as stipulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is common for healthcare service providers to ask themselves what is the HIPAA privacy rule? In order to understand what this rule is, it is essential to first know about the two main titles of HIPAA. One title makes specific guarantees about the availability of health coverage and it prohibits health insurance carriers from discriminating against their clients. The second title of the act defines what protected health information is and establishes administration simplification rules regarding how healthcare service providers can share the information and store it in electronic and online databases. These administration simplification rules are collectively referred to as the HIPAA privacy rule.

What Is The HIPAA Privacy Rule

What Is The HIPAA Privacy Rule?
This rule became actionable law in 2003 and its compliance and data shielding requirements are significant. The HIPAA privacy rule affects numerous entities such as doctor's offices, health insurance providers and hospitals. These entities have to update their IT security plans and medical record systems to comply with the many stipulations of the HIPAA privacy rule. This rule aims to encourage the utilization of electronic health programs. The treatment of patients is more efficient when medical charts, pharmacy files and digital health records are kept.

What is the HIPAA Privacy Rule? By using electronic programs, healthcare service providers can collate information in a manner that allows them to view the medical history of patients readily. Doctors who are treating such patients can also view these records easily regardless of their location. However, it is easy to misuse files that are stored in electronic format because they can be easily manipulated or shared. This makes the risk of invading privacy a real possibility.

The laws of the United States grant people the legal right to privacy when it comes to their health information and this extends to diagnosis, treatment, family statistics and medical history. One aim of the HIPAA privacy rule is to integrate these privacy rights into the e-health field. It aims to make sure that healthcare organizations maintain privacy regardless of how sophisticated the technology they use becomes. For instance, healthcare providers have to take the necessary precautions to safeguard information that is exchanged through the phone, fax or email. They also need to ensure that they do not mention the name of a patient or write it openly in letters or mail.

What is the HIPAA Privacy Rule? If a patient requests some health information about him/her not to be disclosed to his/her family or friends, healthcare providers are supposed to honor the request. If a patient does not make any written or verbal request to withhold medical information from family or friends, the healthcare service provider can share the information with them. However, the organization can only share the information for the purpose of treatment.

What Is The HIPAA Privacy Rule

What is the HIPAA Privacy Rule? The HIPAA privacy rule also stipulates that healthcare organizations cannot share the medical records of patients who have passed away with their relatives. They can only share such information if there is legal authorization. However, the medical information of a patient who has passed away can be shared with family members if another member of that family is suffering from the same medical condition as the deceased patient. If police officers and other law enforcement officials want to look at the medical records of a patient to help them carry out their investigations, the officer who is in charge of the case is identified and checked before he/she is allowed to view medical records.

It is important to note that some healthcare facilities such as those that employ less than ten employees are exempted from complying with the HIPAA privacy rule. Such facilities only need to keep written records of all the health information of their patients. We hope you have a better understand of what is the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

mcwhettinh osipingebr October 6, 2012 at 3:11 am

i use IObit Security 360 and Advanced System Care i use the free verson but if you want you can get the paid verson ( it gives you more options ) also make shure you have a good fire wall i also use PC tools fire wall plus . it works great and ill tell you a little bit about them the security 360 one protects you from all kinds of virusses and the advanced system care boosts your PC's speed and defrags and junk file clean all thatr good stuf also make shure you do scans very often !!!!!!!!!! and what ever you do do not go to norton!!!!! heres the web sites to download these this one is for the advanced system care and the iobit security 360 and this one is for the fire wall

kobess kaca December 28, 2012 at 12:18 am

Here are the "official" (and stupid) reasons:
- Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality supports the ban on self-service gasoline due to inexperienced pumpers being a significant source of groundwater and air pollution.
- Oregon's state fire marshall supports the ban on self-service gasoline due to the possibility of having one incinerate himself, his car, and/or others.
- Law enforcement officials support the law as it prevents gasoline thefts called "drive-offs."
- In states besides Oregon and New Jersey (which also has a no-self-serve law), many gas station owners ignore the requirements outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they do not provide a full-service option for disabled drivers, nor provide those services at self-service rates. Hence, disabled drivers in Oregon benefit from the self-serve ban.

hyderbe January 31, 2013 at 10:48 am

That's the correct way to say it, if your talking about more than ONE healthcare service of course.

chanumarge sweers February 14, 2013 at 12:30 am

Maybe they should have but I doubt that they're required to.

Police officers carry a great deal of equipment on their person, weighty stuff like guns, radios, hand cuffs, etc. Often the extra equipment totals nearly 20 pounds. Entering water with 20 additional weight is not a good idea. Remember, police officers want to go home everyday too.

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