Although The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has been around since 1996, it's only become a more familiar term in the healthcare industry since the implementation of the Privacy Rule in 2001. The Privacy Rule was designed to specifically address the protection of an individual's personal health information. It is important for the vitality of your medical office to maintain HIPAA compliance.
Any organization that accesses patient health information is considered a covered entity and is required by law to comply with HIPAA provisions or face civil and/or criminal penalties. It is imperative that medical records remain confidential and cannot be accessed by people that do not have proper authorization. Disclosures made regarding a patient's protected health information (PHI) without their authorization is considered a violation of the Privacy Rule.
All healthcare providers have a responsibility to keep their staff trained and informed regarding HIPAA compliance. Whether intentional or accidental, unauthorized disclosure of PHI is considered a violation of HIPAA. Here are 5 tips to avoid violating HIPAA.Photo courtesy of Joy Hicks