Most of us know that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 protects people changing jobs/insurers by limiting how pre-existing conditions may be treated by new insurers…but HIPAA also has direct effects on your business processes.
HIPAA’s Administration Simplification provisions require national standards be enacted for electronic health care transactions and identifiers be made for providers, health insurance plans and employers.
In effect, the Administration Simplification provisions establish two rules: the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule.
1. The Privacy Rule protects’ patients’ health care information and medical records, while giving them significant control of how that information is used and disclosed.
2. The Security Rule specifies a number of administrative, technical and physical security measures that must be undertaken to ensure the confidentiality of private medical data. The standards are meant to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation’s health care system.
It should also be noted that sometimes, providers and health insurance plans can require the waiver of HIPAA rights as a term of service.
Employers who provide health care benefits to their employees, must be aware of their procedures to ensure HIPAA compliance.
Understanding and implementing all the necessary measures for HIPAA compliance can be complicated. It requires diligence, and it also requires you to implement specific security measures (protected e-mail for secure health care transactions, for starters) to protect your employees’ information.
We are here to help ensure your business is operating in compliance with HIPAA. Understanding and complying with the Act is at the core of our business, just as it needs to be at the core of your HR department’s dealings with employee benefits.