Hipaa Definitions

Written by Dina Kayed
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It is critical that every healthcare facility understands all of the rules and regulations associated with HIPAA. HIPAA is a federal law that was introduced to ensure healthcare patients' rights to information privacy and to put an end to healthcare abuse and fraud. In order for healthcare personnel to comprehend the new system, they must at least have access to clear HIPAA regulations manuals.

Understanding HIPAA Definitions

"Authorization" is probably one of the most common and critical words occurring in HIPAA regulations. One prominent example of new authorizations is the requirement that a written authorization document exist before employees can access certain kinds of confidential patient information, such as information not directly related to treatment or payment. This document must be written in plain language, and all confidential information to which access will be granted must be clearly documented. The names of those who are granted access to the information must also be provided, along with the name of the person that gave the authorization.

Another common term requiring definition is "business associate." This term refers to a person or company who, on behalf of an association covered by HIPAA regulations, performs services that require the sharing of confidential patient information. Such services might involve financial transactions, legal recommendations, data analysis, billing, or similar actions carried out on behalf of the HIPAA-covered individual or company.

It is also important to understand the definition of "designated record set." This refers to most recorded information which concerns a patient or a client of a covered healthcare institution. HIPAA regulations specify that individuals have the right to review or obtain their own designated record sets, except under clearly specifically outlined circumstances. These record sets include most elements of a patient's health record, including billing records and claims information.

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