In August of 1996, significant legislation was passed that touches nearly every aspect of the healthcare profession, from providers to payers to vendors. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), includes among other provisions of this law, protective guidelines for the confidentiality of healthcare information, containing provisions that spell out the procedures for maintaining privacy and security of this information. The law also mandated uniform standards and formats for electronic transmission of health information and code sets in connection with most routine types of health transactions (such as claims submission and eligibility for health benefits).With regard to protecting the privacy of patient data from unauthorized access, HIPAA defines the type of information that must be protected by health care providers who conduct certain electronic healthcare transactions, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses (referred to in HIPAA as "covered entities"), as well as the circumstances required before identifiable health information can be released from one party to another. Policies, procedures, and mechanisms required to ensure the privacy of this information are required by HIPAA, as well. "Covered entities" has been defined by the act as health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and healthcare providers who transmit healthcare data electronically.With regard to standardization of code sets and transmission protocols, HIPAA aims to improve the efficiencies, protect the privacy of electronic data in any state, and reduce the cost of exchanging this information from one authorized entity to another. In order to reach these objectives, HIPAA goes further by mandating the way health information is captured, transmitted, stored, and managed, which in turn affects existing information technology procedures and policies.The standardization of code sets and transaction protocols, as well as patient identifiers, providers and health plans, was first proposed by a report published in 1992 by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI). HIPAA utilizes this reports findings and recommendations to establish standards and protocols.
Product URL : http://www.dentrix.com/support/hipaa.aspx
Last Updated : 03/16/2013