HIPAA: The Impact on the Delivery of Human Services

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA-, May 2009

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The U.S President Bill Clinton signed Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) on 21 August 1996. Most healthcare insurance companies and providers are to remain to the HIPAA regulation guidelines by October 2002 and October 2003 for smaller health plans. If you are in the healthcare industry, you have probably heard some rumblings about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, calmly referred to as HIPAA. The word is your medical practice will have to be HIPAA compliant by April 2003, but you are not exactly sure what this act mandates or how to accomplish it. In very basic terms, HIPAA has two primary components to which hospitals, health plans, and healthcare"Clearinghouses and healthcare providers must conform: Administrative simplification, which calls for use of the same computer language industry-wide; Privacy protection, which requires healthcare providers to take reasonable measures to protect patients' written, oral, and electronic information.

Congress passed HIPAA in an effort "to protect the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information." Additionally, lawmakers "sought to reduce the administrative costs and burden associated with healthcare by standardizing data and facilitating transmission of many administrative and financial transactions." HIPAA consultants say the new regulations should save the healthcare industry money in the end, provide improved security of patient information, and allow patients to have better access to their own healthcare information. The HIPAA law is a multi-step approach that is geared to improve the health insurance system. One approach of the HIPAA regulations is to protect privacy. It is also known as the law to treat the sick, or injured regardless of the fact whether they are able to pay. The provisions that are included in the HIPAA law are provisions for health insurance portability, group health plan requirements, revenue offset provisions, fraud and abuse...