Protected Health Information HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, was a piece of legislation that regulates the way health insurance information is protected, stored, and communicated. Title I regulates the availability and scope of individual health insurance plans; it was created to protect health insurance coverage for workers transitioning between jobs and unemployment…
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In all, there are 18 identifiers that must be followed implicitly in order to avoid a breach of confidentiality. (Jones, 2009) Under HIPAA patients have the right to be educated regarding their health information and a clear definition of what will be done with that information, who has access to it; how it is stored, communicated, and distributed. They also have access to their health information with the right to amend it, obtain copies of it, and know the history of to whom it has been distributed. Before health care information can be released from the provider, the patient must sign an informed consent stating where the information will be distributed. This release must be specific and timely; health information requested for non-routine uses requires a separate consent to be signed by the patient. This authorized consent may not be forced or coerced; complaints with regards to breach of confidentiality can be filed with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. (Senior Health Forum, 2011) One of the largest claims filed to date involves a Seattle firm, Providence Health System.
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