Hipaa Compliance Rules

Written by Dina Kayed
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Although the move towards adopting standards in the medical world was well underway by 1975 with the creation of UB-82, which was the standard hospital claims form, the final HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations were concluded on December 28, 2000. These regulations set down comprehensive guidelines for all medical institutions and staff. The most important objective of HIPAA was to provide patients with more privacy, and to regulate those coming in contact with their health information, and what they might do with it.

HIPAA Rules and Regulations

The regulations stipulate that those in medical and related fields must undergo HIPAA training to prepare them for future contact with personal medical info. Sensitive personal health information such as the patient's family history or record of illnesses is not the only kind of information that is kept safe and confidential under HIPAA regulations. Other information that would be routinely processed in the medical field such as records of money transactions and healthcare claims are also included in the HIPAA privacy rules. Other information such as patients' benefits and eligibility for health insurance is also kept secret.

HIPAA introduced more standardized technology to the medical administration field, converting all paperwork from manual to electronic. This had the desirable effect of speeding up the process of all applications and claims. The regulations, however, do not only stipulate that only electronic information should be kept private. It is made quite clear that all other information documented on paper, or even oral communication of medical information, should also be kept confidential at all times. Staff working in the medical field should reach an understanding of how important and serious it is to keep all information private. HIPAA makes it clear that any breach of confidentiality could result in serious consequences.

Individuals that do not have the proper HIPAA training and who are not qualified should not at any time come in contact with patients' private information. They are not allowed to even come close to any place where a patient's personal information might be stored or dealt with. This means they cannot personally be in the vicinity, or even use technology to obtain such knowledge from far away.

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